Category Archives: Farming

Highway robbery!

gateThis is going to be embarrassing, but I did something real stupid yesterday, and that’s not the worst thing. Somebody else took advantage of my stupidity and did something wrong, and I hope by telling my story I can get some help righting that wrong.

It’s kind of a long story, but the bottom line is I had a bunch of tools in a large bucket in the back of my pick-up truck. I had been working on various projects around the farm, including building a gate for my garden, so it just seemed like a good idea to have all my tools in one place instead of rolling around in the bed of the pick-up.

Unfortunately, since I do not have electricity near the garden, I had taken my battery-powered drill and sawzall out to work on the gate and they were in the bucket. After finishing hanging the gate, I headed up to Geneseo Hardware to pick up a rototiller I was renting for the day. Stupidly I left the tailgate open and you can probably guess what happened next.

When I got back home and unloaded the rototiller, I realized with horror that my bucket of tools was gone. I quickly retraced my steps and found my smashed bucket and a bag of nails along side the road on Rt. 20A near Elm Street in the village, Apparently, the bucket had slip off the back of the truck as I went up the hill on South Street.

A thorough search of the area turned up my tape measure and a tractor pin, but missing was over $200 of tools. In addition to the portable power equipment, I had a large hammer and various wrenches and other hand tools. Apparently, somebody found these tools along the road and figured they were free for the taking.

This being Geneseo, I had hope that somebody would turn them in to the police as obviously lost property, but when I went to the village police office, no such luck. Since this all happened in broad daylight on the busiest road in town, I’ve got to believe that somebody saw something.

I am offering a $50 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to the return of my property. The power tools won’t do anybody much good when the batteries run down, unless they happen to have the right charger to recharge them, which is unlikely.

I know it was stupid not to close the tailgate, but I am also disappointed that someone apparently took advantage of my stupidity. That’s not supposed to happen in a small town, although of course, Geneseo is not such a small town anymore.

So I’m putting the word on the street: If you saw anything on Rt. 20A around 2 pm on Monday May 11, please give ma a call at 233-5338. Thanks!

Come to the Free Soil Party!

Editor’s note: If you are looking for the column or updates about Vera Gleason, please follow this link.


Free Garden Plots available! Seven Four* 100 square foot garden plots are available to the community for immediate planting at the Hartford House in Geneseo. The plots are protected by a 6-foot, welded-wire deer fence. They have been roto-tilled, limed and fertilized with organic compost only. Soil test results of this Ovid silt loam are available. Irrigation with village water available on a barter basis.
Experienced gardeners preferred.
* Hurry! Three plots have already been taken! Call Biff at 233-5338 or e-mail him.
Limit one plot per family.


Visitors to the Hartford House this spring have noticed that change is in the air. A collection of vintage farm equipment is taking shape and four acres of the old sheep pasture east of the main driveway has been plowed up.

Part of the old pasture has also been enclosed with a 6 foot fence, but it is not, as some have thought, a new tennis court under construction. It is a deer fence intended to keep four-legged predators away from the juicy vegetables that are already growing in a new vegetable garden.

This is the first season for what owner Corrin Strong hopes will some day become a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Farm. Corrin has over 15 years of commercial farming experience, operating a 600-acre grain farm in Caledonia from 1976-1992. This time around, he’s starting on a smaller, but more intensive, scale.

Outside the fence, he hopes to grow a few acres of sweet corn and pumpkins , however, the bulk of the land will be sown in cover crops to increase the soil’s fertility and tilth. A compost pile incorporating the manure from neighboring Big House Stables as well as grass clippings and other organic waste from the Hartford House will soon be underway.

Corrin is offering free 1oo square foot garden plots to local families. (See Ad above.) The offer is being made through this blog, by e-mail to members of the Genesee Volley Tennis Club and will be posted on Facebook. He hopes that those who take up the offer will form the nucleus of the board of directors of the future CSA. Experience gathered in this first trial season will help make better crops in the future!

Come grow with us!

P.S. The Hartford House was built by Gen. James S. Wadsworth in 1835. The General was one of the founders of the Free Soil party in New York. That party opposed the expansion of slavery and eventually merged into the newly formed Republican Party prior to the Civil War in which the General gave his life.