The Goodnow Family Petting Farm
By Laurie Willow
From Issue 31: Summer 2016
Matt and Meghan Goodnow and their five children are busily transforming the old honey farm on Route 44/55 into the Goodnow Family Farm. Now there is a Petting Farm, where folks can play with the animals, go for hay rides or enjoy pony rides. Along with a hands-on experience with the animals, there are educational sessions about the different animals as well as about self-sufficient farming. The farm is also hosting birthday parties and is available for field trips from local camps and schools.
Matt grew up among many animals at his grandfather’s veterinary hospital in Gardiner, though when Matt and Meghan married they initially lived in Stone Ridge. Their family grew over the years (Jasmine 16, Jordan 13, Maddison 8, and Hope and Grace both 4) and when one of their children was diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder, Matt and Meghan thought it might help him to live with and experience animal companionship. They started with two goats and some chickens. It worked very well. Their son communicated and bonded with these pets, and it became clear that the relationships with animals were beneficial for him, as well as for the other children. Over the years, many more animals have been added to expand their farm. Every summer the family helps the kids with showing their cows at the Ulster County Fair in the 4H shows. (“Zoey,” Maddison’s calf for her 4H project, was featured in the Fall 2013 issue of The Gazette).
The Goodnow family also runs their own self-sufficient farm. They grow fruits and vegetables and their produce is put up for the winter by canning, freezing, drying, etc., and they have eggs (chicken, duck and turkey), beef, chicken, maple syrup, herbs and honey for sale at their small shop on the property. The meat is raised on the farm, by the family, which teaches the importance of understanding where food comes from, the hard work in taking care of the animals and making sure that the animals are fed proper diets.
Now the Goodnow family is ready to share their animals and their farm with others who want to appreciate and learn about them. You can bring the kids and grandkids any weekend to visit with pigs, turkeys, donkeys, alpacas, rabbits, a Belgian horse, sheep, goats, cows, ducks and of course chickens.
It is quite impressive to see the many different breeds of cattle on the farm, including some Longhorns that are very friendly. The entrance fee is $8 per adult and $5 per child and includes a hay ride. Call 845 750-7729 or go to their Facebook page at facebook.com/GoodnowFamilyFarm