Vintage Meadows at Flanagan Farm
If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know that my family and I have taken on a H U G E endeavor that includes a 17-stall barn and just shy of 100 acres in our small town. I'd like to tell you all a little bit about the history of the farm and our plans for it moving forward.
The original farmstead date is 1785, owned by a man by the name of Thomas Wright, Jr. who procured butter and cheese on a large scale for that era. In 1896, the farm was purchased by Thomas Flanagan who had emigrated from Ireland with his wife, Mary. The Flanagan family grew to include four sons and five daughters, passing the property down by generation after generation until present day. For centuries, the barn has alternated animals, with a long stretch as a dairy cow operation. It most recently acted as a boarding and training facility, Wachusett Boarding Stable, where it was well-loved and cared after by one pioneer of woman.
After some down time, the farm began to fall into poor condition due to minimal use. Many Sterling residents, as well as nearby town occupants, have conveyed to me their wandering and dreamy eyes as they passed the property by day after day. The farmstead boasts natural beauty in the most quintessential New England way. It is lined with old stone walls, surrounded by old and looming trees, and contains a one-hundred-year-old apple orchard. The original post and beam barn stands tall with an old hay lift still in place, bolstering centuries worth of memories.
Because I have been asked numerous times, I know many of you are wondering "how in the heck did she stumble upon this property?!" I've heard a lot of "you are living my dream!" And that's just it; it started with a dream. One that I have manifested for years and years, wondering "how in the world will I ever make it happen?" There have been numerous people in my life that told me it was too big of a dream. But luckily the wild heart in me ignored those claims and pursued what might very well be the rest of my life.
After leasing a seven-stall barn in Harvard, MA for little over a year, there were many things that needed to be done to attract newcomers from a boarding perspective. As I punched the numbers with the uncertainty of the longevity of said property, I began to wonder if there was a property more suitable for such endeavor. I took a peek online, and I kid you not, the very first property I clicked on was this one. It had been posted that V E R Y same day! I knew this was an opportunity that I could not let slip by, so I wrote an email. And although I wanted to bang on the Flanagan's front door and shout "P I C K M E!" I kept my composure, shockingly, and let fate direct us where we should be.
So here we are, on Flanagan Hill Road in Sterling, MA painting my dreams and longstanding visions on a canvas that contains SO much history. Our goals for the property are big, but we plan to take it little by little and enjoy the process of it all. One post at a time, one board at a time, one three-year old "my shoe got stuck in the mud and my sock is all dirty" meltdown at a time.
This year we will start with establishing our equine business and working out the kinks that inevitably come with growth. My number one priority is ensuring that each horse is healthy and happy, with plenty of room to roam and well, be a horse. Once fencing and drainage repairs are underway, I hope to plant some seeds in the ground this spring! To make it attainable, we will be planting one biological species at a time: this year zinnias. We hope to revitalize some of the apple orchard by thinning out the trees and replanting the ones that don't make it. Pumpkin seeds have been ordered and composting has begun! We hope to celebrate the fall with you by selling pumpkins and hosting vintage style markets. After such events commence, it'll be time to plant our very first balsam fir plugs at Vintage Meadows. Here's to being around in seven years so we can offer them to our community.
xo Meg @ Vintage Meadows