Barrows Farm can be traced to genealogy to the original owners who purchased part of the farm for $300 as part of the Boston Purchase Ten Townships on November 4th, 1850. The Historical Society of Newark Valley (a town close by) has the following information on the Boston Purchase, "This tract of land comprising the Boston Purchase included the parts of the counties of Broome and Tioga which lies between the Chenango River on the east, and the Owego Creek on the west and extended Northward from the Susquehanna River about twenty-five miles. It contained about 230,000 acres of land and was divided into lots, each of the sixty proprietors taking his share of lots according to the amount of money he invested. On the original map (now property of Library of Cornell University) each lot was marked on inch wide by two and one-half inches long."
The farm has been within the Barrows family for 165 years and the current owner, Richard Barrows is the 6th generation. Rich purchased the land from his grandfather around the time of his high school graduation. Like his ancestors before him, Rich operated a small dairy until 1985. At that time, he sold his dairy cows and left the business. He went on to work with the local sheet metal union.
As the years passed, many events brought life back into the farm. In 2004, Rich met Doreen Barker and they spent a lot of time together on the farm. In 2008, Doreen was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. While battling through some additional issues, a friend of Rich's gave them a Jersey bull calf in the summer of 2009. This was the rebirth of Barrows Farm.
In the summer of 2010, a beloved rescue cow named Belle spawned a new passion and zest for the farm. With the addition of chickens in 2009, Heritage Turkeys and Irish Dexters in 2011, the farm began to take shape. In 2013, we installed perimeter fencing on 110 acres and in 2014 we installed a gravity fed water system to supply water to the pastures without using electricity.
Rich still holds a full time job, while working the farm too. He handles all decisions of seedings for pastures, haying and any construction project. When he isn't at his regular job, he also works on his uncle's dairy farm or you might find him out to the pasture with the cows.
Doreen has previously worked in the sales and marketing industry until her diagnosis of MS. She now manages the farm and spends a considerable amount of time with the cattle. She is the farm photographer and head agricultural photographer at Farm Girl Photography. She is also a mentor for beginning farmers in the local area and manages our farm blog and our Facebook page.