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Farming for the Family

June 23, 2012

When Stephanie Appleton’s father decided he was returning to the soil and purchased 104 acres in Ona, the extended family moved together. Having grown up in the Ohio Amish community, the call of the earth was strong for him.

At that time, Stephanie and Tim were living in the city of Akron and this concept was not exactly what they had planned. But they moved to the mostly wooded and hilly acreage about 6 years ago. Now Tim also works as a manager for a nursing home and Stephanie home-schools their four children: Kellen, Lydia, Nolan and Vivian. They have cleared some of the land and have plans for more clearing and farming production.

Like other farm families who also work off the farm, there is always a struggle to find the time to do the needed chores. With four children involved in a number of activities, the action is nonstop at Mil-Ton Farm.

Their main purpose has always been to raise and process their own food.  They have over 100 chickens, an increasing flock of 16 ducks, 15  hogs, 5 head of Angus, and 2 goats.

They have a large strawberry patch and plan to expand it for next year.

They also grow a variety of vegetables.

I first became aware of the Mil-Ton Farm as Stephanie posts often on Facebook. On Monday she lists the foods that are available and requests people place orders by Wednesday. She makes deliveries to Huntington’s Kitchen on 3rd Avenue on Fridays and also brings orders as well as excess produce and meat to the Putnam Market in Hurricane on Saturdays.

The children were proud to lead me around the farm, eager to show me the chickens and explain how they help care for the birds as well as assist when it is time to process. Lydia made no bones about it-cleaning up the coop is the least favorite chore.

She was very matter of fact about the slaughtering process, however, showing me the “cone of death”, explaining where the boiling water is positioned to help loosen the feathers and then the plucking machine. The kids are intimately involved. They understand the circle of life better than most of us, especially those us on not living with the source of our nutrition.

Nolan persuaded me to hold a poult. Vivian determined that the two most recent duck eggs had disappeared, the victims of a predator in the night. 

Kellen’s inquisitive mind was evident around the farm with various projects he had built.  Most spectacular is a medieval catapult machine.  He is currently looking for a farm project he can assume to raise income for himself.  He came with me when I left the farm that day to go visit another one, the better to learn.

The Appleton kids are growing up to be thinking, caring people…yeah Stephanie and Tim!!

618 Blackberry Lane, Ona, WV 25545

1 (304) 736-5246

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2012 5:16 pm

    Lovely article. I hope it helps people see firsthand some of the things they don’t usually get to see in regards to how real farmers work to bring their quality goods to people.

  2. June 23, 2012 5:20 pm

    Reblogged this on Wild Cookery! and commented:
    Today’s Featured Blog: The Wild Ramp. A local WV food market. Go and check out what these folks are doing. Even if you don’t live in WV. They’re doing some great things, and it just may give you some fantastic ideas of what to do in your own home town!

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