We (Beth Spaugh-Barber and Tony Barber) started Rehoboth Homestead in 2002 as a “homestead” – growing for our own use. In 2004, we expanded our vision to make Rehoboth Homestead a small farm – Beth’s full-time job. We had (and still have) a strong desire to produce clean, healthy food through good stewardship of the land and animals in our care. The name “Rehoboth” comes from Genesis 26:22. One of the definitions is “God gives the path” and we feel called to farm in a manner worthy of the “Good Shepherd”.
Our farm is an “organic market garden” of fresh vegetables and flowers, with chickens, ducks, and pigs. We are on Jabez Allen Road and Route 9 in Peru, New York, in the Champlain Valley and foothills of the Adirondacks, just eight miles south of Plattsburgh.
We grow vegetables and cutting flowers using “organic” methods on three acres. That is more than enough to keep us very busy. We have two more acres we are bringing back to vegetables, good pasture and hay for mulch and compost. There are another thirteen acres that are marginal or wetlands. We are looking into using these acres for medicinal herbs, hay, and adapted ornamentals.
The chickens, ducks, and pork are an excellent addition to the vegetables and flowers. They eat excess or cull vegetables, converting them to meat and eggs. The birds keep the bug population in check. The pigs cleared an area for us to plant fruit trees, asparagus, rhubarb, and grapes.
Our land was farmland prior to the 1980s, but was not cultivated for over thirty years. The advantage of this is that no chemical pesticides were used in this time, and from what we are told, were not used when it was cropped. The disadvantage is that we are having to clear brush and weeds and have no old buildings to use.