13 Jun A Weekend at the Farm
In Montague, NJ there is a beautifully rugged farm property that dates to 1760. With expansive vistas and acres to spare, the rural land is diverse and painterly.
Under the name 301 Clove, the farm is home to a variety of horses (and two sweet donkeys!) as well as Scottish Black Face sheep, ducks on the pond, two affectionate, identical twin barn cats and one endearing dog. Walking around, there is also a possibility of encountering deer, badgers, chipmunks dashing about and even bears!
The property had been neglected for many years and was in poor shape at purchase. With some TLC, there now sits a thoughtfully designed guest house (a former chicken coop) sporting a massive fire place, a charming kitchen complete with Smeg appliances and a literal (spa-like) shower room.
The main barn is nicely appointed with beautiful wood stalls, complete with name plates for each horse, all the riding equipment and grooming supplies, a general office and the cat room.
I had the great delight of enjoying a weekend there to kick off the summer season. A nice respite from city life, the farm is quiet and private. Meeting the farm manager was a pleasure as she gave a tour of the immediate property, introduced the animals, offered horse rides (I groomed a horse instead) and imparted some interesting historical information about the land and the former original farmhouse, which is still standing and part of a local historical registry.
The animals all have definite personalities and it was fun to learn their quirks and what makes them unique in their own ways.
The weather was perfect for hiking around the outlying areas of the property, where a surprise gazebo was found at the top of a hill overlooking the horse fields. In the evening the air was balmy and breezy as frogs talked on the pond’s edge and the sound of purring could be heard from a cat weaving around my legs.
As night fell, the gently rolling hills made for complete silence and privacy and a stillness you just don’t experience in the city. And with little ambient public light, the entire sky was ablaze with stars when complete darkness set in—a paradise of constellations.
You can feel the love, care and humor in the environment the owners have created at 301 Clove. It’s clearly a special place and will only grow more beautiful with time as a new history is forged.