Unlike many rural areas, ours is full of businesses that support farming endeavors. Nearby we have tractor dealers, repair garages and tire shops. Dewart Hay and Livestock Auction is in business for weekly sales and Frailey's has an equipment auction twice a year. Butcher shops that handle poultry beef, pigs , goats and sheep (more difficult to find because of Scrapie regulations) are within a 40 minute ride. More than one mobile poultry processor, offering on-premises butchering to comply with USDA poultry processing exemptions (P.L 90-492), are nearby. Welding, fencing and hauling services are easy to locate. Future Farmers of America, 4H, and Penn State Cooperative Extension offices are active in our community especial and county fairs.
Yesterday's errand run demonstrates the agricultural richness of this area. Our first stop was Norm's Farm store.Norm is from a Mennonite farming family; one of his brothers supplies some of the feed sold at the gas lit and heated store. Service at Norm's is excellent and customer appreciation days in March, with its discounts, seed company representatives seated at card tables,warm beverages and baked goods, signal the beginning of Spring. Yesterday I picked up two bales of wood shavings,read the ingredient list on a bag of F. M. Brown sheep feed and checked out the community bulletin board.
Next we picked up a load of pine boards at Ed Hoover's Sawmill. All Ed's sawmill machinery is run by compressed air powered by deisel engines. In spite of the dusty work, the mill is very tidy. Stacks of uncut logs, lumber and log stickered boules (A through-sawn log with the slices restacked in the order and orientation they originally had in the log) surround the mill buildings.
On our way to Paradise Valley Organic Farm we passed rolling hills and harvested fields, some with shocked corn and others with green winter cover crops blanketing the soil. Bucky Zeigler grows organic grains and sells certified organic feed. We loaded our bag of layer grains from the sheltered stacks at the back of the equipment shed. Bucky's expertise coupled with his local knowledge has protected me from making some greenhorn mistakes.Our last stop was at Clark's ag center for spray on polyeurethane. Clark's recently underwent a renovation, making it look and stocking it to be more like an ordinary hardware store yet within its aisles there are tools and supplies aplenty to outfit any rural property. Clark's counter staff is quick to search out odd items and many of the employees have experience on their own rural properties so they have much expertise to share.The warehouse staff loads bags of feed, rolls of fencing and scoops of gravel and mulch into waiting vehicles.Beyond our Turbotville area businesses there a other well supported farming communities within a 45 minute drive. I bought my round bale feeder at the Elimsport welding shop, visited harness shops in both Mifflinburg and Elimsport, attended my first livestock auction in Middleburg and participated in a cooperative extension pasture walk in Mainville. Eventhough long time valley residents say there are not as many businesses as in the past, thankfuly I have been able to address most of my farmstead needs locally.