Geof grew up in the suburbs of London, which he found very boring, especially during school holidays. When he was thirteen, he was sent to spend the summer with his uncle, who had a farm just south of the English Lake District. It was a working farm, where young Geof helped tend milking cows, steers (or bullocks, as they’re called in England), sheep and hens. Young Geof was in heaven.
After graduating from university with a PhD in Agriculture, Geof went overseas, making a career managing agricultural development projects, primarily in the Middle East and Africa. While in Egypt, he met Anne Johnson, who was working in overseas economic development. Anne had spent her childhood summers at her family’s vacation house off Ames Hill Road in Brattleboro, Vermont, and that is where the couple eventually married.
There is here: Roselily Farm is off Ames Hill Road in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Another twelve years and nearly as many countries later, Geof and Anne decided it was time to set their roots, and they chose Vermont, close to her family, who were by then permanent residents. They bought a 95 acre farm and named it Roselily, after a pond they were told had once existed on the property.
With help from neighbors and friends, a hoop barn was erected for overwintering a herd of cattle, a long-abandoned concrete silo serving as the base of the building. Substantial improvements were made to the property and fields. Fences were installed to divide fields into smaller paddocks, as the cows would be moved frequently, assuring healthy growth of the grass to sustain the herd.
A small, carefully and lovingly tended herd
The first animals arrived in October 2012—four cows and their calves—a lovely mixture of breeds, loosely based on the Belted Galloway. From that start, the herd grew to what is now a mixture of cows, heifers, and steers. It is a small, carefully and lovingly tended herd. In 2013, pigs were brought in. Purchased as shoats each year in the spring, the pigs live in the hoop barn until the fall, when they are fully grown and ready for processing.
Speaking of Product Lines...
The summer of 2016 marked the opening of the Roselily Farm Shop, offering beef, pork and ham, as well as various foodstuffs and handcrafts from other local producers. The latest development is the inauguration of the Roselily web shop for the online sale of selected cuts of beef.