Goods and experiences available at Valley of Hope Farm – The Independent

Goods and experiences available at Valley of Hope Farm - The Independent


GRAYSON Valley of Hope Farm seems to be trying to be all things to all people, and it might be succeeding.

The 95 acres have been in Stephen Owens’ family for six generations. The current incarnation offers meats such as bacon, pork ribs, tenderloin, sausages, smoked ham, beef and, the meat it’s best known for, lamb. There are more unusual items, too, such as peacock feather earrings, goat milk soaps, firewood, wooden items and homemade baked goods and jellies. and there is produce.

Those who enjoy cooking beyond the basics might take advantage of the farm’s Foodie Box, which contains unusual items like Mexican sour gherkins, leeks, fennel and chervil.

“Chervil is a kind of parsley, called French parsley, or rich man’s parsley,” Owens’ wife, Millissia, said. “You could use it as you would a lettuce or like you would use any parsley.” She said Foodie Boxes have caught on big.

“You can buy them from the farm or order them and pick them up at the Greenup County Farmers Market or the Ashland Makers Market,” she said.

Specialty items like chervil are grown on one of the 26 raised beds the farm has.

The couple is always looking to add new things to the farm. In fact, Mr. Owens taught himself how to weave and built his own looms, using wool from their lambs to make baby blankets with matching hats, as well as gloves and various kinds of scarves.

Mrs. Owens’ baked goods are popular. In fact, one of her top-selling items is white chocolate ginger cookies.

“Since May 1, 2021, we have sold nearly 2,500 dozen of that cookie,” she said. “Also, the homemade caramel in sea salt. We can’t make that fast enough.”

During the holidays, the baking is in even more demand. The farm offers three sizes of treat trays containing a variety of baked goods and fudge.

Beyond the items the farm produces, there’s the activities.

A recent farm to table event drew 17 attendees, with daughter Sabrina McWhorter cooking dishes incorporating farm products, like bruchetta, beet salad and blackberry lemonade.

“It was over at 9 p.m., but people didn’t start to leave until 9:45 and there will still people here at 10,” Mrs. Owens said.

There is space to rent for events, farm tours and yoga classes.

During August, Rebecca Fairchild offered yoga classes on the farm with one addition: Hula Hoop.

The instructor said the hoops, which are made differently for exercise than the ones from the 20th century, add some fun to stretching and working out.

“It will be a good 30 minutes of yoga and hoop stretching, mostly on and off-body hula hooping,” she said, noting different kinds of hoops are used for different movement. Plus, she does tricks and illusions with the hoops.

Benefits of Hula Hooping, she said, including burning calories, building a strong core, better balance and posture, full body workout, weight loss with consistent practice, cardio workout which supports brain health, reduction of stress and anxiety, better focus and healthy fun.

“It’s a great way to get grounded, forget your problems and smile,” Fairchild said.

In September, more yoga will be offered, but dates and instructor are yet to be announced.

The farm store, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday offers products made on the farm. Tours are available and, when school is closed, the Owenses encourage children to visit the farm. They schedule tours to keep like-aged children together.

“We do morning devotion and then go around gathering eggs and doing farm chores, whatever needs to be done,” Mrs. Owens said. “We teach them about gardening and always plant something with them that they get to take home with them.”

Mr. Owens does a wood craft with them, minus cutting, and they get a free lunch and snacks. The cost? Nothing.

Mrs. Owens sells her books, “Ramblings of a Sheep Farmer” and “Iris Gets a Lamb” for $8 each to help fund the children’s visits.

“At $8 a book, every two books puts one child through a tour,” she said. Books are available in the farm store, at the Ashland Makers Market or by ordering through Amazon.com and Walmart.com.

Another new adventure will open Sept. 1. It’s a gem mining experience.

“It’s in a secret location, People are going to be surprised,” Mrs. Owens said.

The mine will resemble an abandoned mine and children will get to pan for jewels while parents have an area where they can sit and watch their little ones.

The Owenes continue to find ways to expand their offerings and Mrs. Owens said they are grateful for every opportunity.

“Every single day of our lives, we just thank God because we know from whom our blessings flow,” Mrs. Owens said.



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About the Author: Eugene Berry