Janine Golub welcome you to Our Farm.
Say hello when you see us!
Over the last 25 years we've seen so many of our farms disappear to be replaced
forever by development. It was 26 years ago that the Golubs started selling products
from their roadside stand. What started with a picnic bench and some strawberries
has blossomed into a destination for thousands of school children and families every fall.
Jimmy and Janine first met in entomology class at SUNY Cobleskill in 1975. They worked
on various dairy farms including Shelburne Farms in Vermont where they were married
in 1979. Although Jimmy came from an urban background, his dream, from the age of 12,
was to own and operate a farm. On the other hand Janine's family had been Dutch pioneers,
helping to found the city of Ithaca. The course of events took this young married couple to
Cazenovia, N.Y., where a territory had opened for Jimmy in his work with Eastern A.I. Coop
(now called Genex) in 1981. This work involved inseminating dairy cattle for member dairies.
They purchased the White Farm on Peth Rd. All they were looking for at the time, was enough
pasture for their 2 horses. They got more than they bargained for with 80 total acres.
Soon after moving in, they planted 1/4 acre of strawberries and that's how it started.
After a year of strawberries, Jimmy thought it might be better to grow a crop that could
be harvested in an upright position. Golub planted sweet corn with a push type planter.
Although the rows were crooked, people began to notice how tasty corn was. The
following year Golub purchased some old equipment and put in 5 acres of pumpkins
and added a petting zoo. Our Farm was born. The children that came that year are 30 years old.
There has been obstacles over the years. "We lost our horse, Willow", says Golub.
"She had been such a big part of Our Farm and our lives it was hard to imagine doing
it without her." But after much searching, Cody was found at Morrisville College and
proved to be a worthy successor. But the biggest challenge was in 1997 when Janine
was in the hospital. She was inflicted with a rare nerve condition that left her with limited
mobility and stamina. Golub recalls, "we had so many people that helped us it was amazing,
Several people helped with our school program. And then there was a group of people that
helped pick all the pumpkins in one night. That was a big help and really showed me what
kind of a community we lived in."
In 1998, a corn maze was added, giving Our Farm another dimension. 2004 saw
the construction of a barn. "That has given us much more to offer. We have agricultural
displays for learning and an indoor picnic area", says Janine. Basically the approach is
agritourism's low key non-commercial alternative with a focus on education. They never
seem to be over crowded and people seem to appreciate the homespun atmosphere.
"Some families have brought the 2nd generation to Our Farm. We hope you will make
Our Farm a part of your family tradition".
School Field Trip Weekday Staff
Charlie Davis will drive the children to the pumpkin field during the week.
Charlie certainly has a lifetime of experience around farm machinery. If you meet Charlie you will
notice how well he works with children. He's had enough practice! He is a retired teacher from the
Chittenango Schools where he taught technology to 7th graders for 32 years. For the past 20 years
Charlie has owned and operated his own farm where he raises beef cows. He is active in the beef
industry serving is a past president of the NY Hereford Breeders and a current treasurer for the
NY Beef Producers. He also serves as a junior adviser to NY Beef Producers.
He farms with his Dad in the Erieville area.
Sylvia O'Connor is in charge of our petting zoo during the weekdays.
Born a Canadian, her family moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan at 7 years old.
As a child she was constantly intrigued with nature, always learning and studying.
After high school, she went to the Oglebay Institute to qualify to run a nature camp.
She became a naturalist counselor, and later an assistant director of a nature camp.
She took care of a wide variety of animals, while working with children and putting
together programs for the camp. She later moved to Manlius with her husband
Dennis and raised 4 girls.
Sylvia has a unique combination of love for animals and nature and a bond with
children, helping to make the petting zoo experience a positive one for our many visitors.
Sylvia and Walt are Past Employees.
This summer Walt Ammann passed away after a long illness.
Walt was like a father to me. When I first purchased the farm
I was really clueless about how to farm. Walt helped guide me
through those times. And when he worked here, he usually
informed me about something that needed to be fixed, only
after he already fixed it himself. Walt had been our tractor driver
for the school groups from the beginning. When I bought
a tractor, I got one exactly like his (Allys Chalmers 175).
Walt retired from dairy farming in the late 80's, at the same time
we were growing. He agreed to drive tractor for the hayrides.
The children referred to Walt affectionately as "Uncle Walt". To the
Golubs he's more than an Uncle. I helped Walt unload hay and Walt fixed
and welded all the things I broke over the course of the year. We helped each
other out but if the truth were to be known, Walt did more for me than I can
ever do for him.Walt will always be a part of Our Farm and our lives, so we are
this photo as a reminder of his contributions, and a tribute to a
very special human.We will deeply miss this man.
Thanks to Sam Schotzberger, who provided me with seed for the corn maze.
Thanks to Steve Burdin who did excavation and really strengthened Boris this year.
Also Pete Komareck and Steve Geer (the creators of Boris also helped).
Thanks to Dan Gilbert who helped me figure out how to lay out the maze this year
using his cell phone, some clear plastic, a marker, and some scotch tape.
Thanks to Laurie Selleck who for years has done our graphics including the postcard and website, and put up with me.
And thanks to Stuart Staley who designed our great logo.
This is his website http://www.encmedia.com