Greetings from Mark and Cheryll Mellenthin, we’re the happy owners and proprietors of StoneHaus Farm Verona. As two former city people who came to love and value the rewards in developing a diversified, locally-based small-scale farm, we also understand that our city neighbors support a robust and healthy food system. We were those neighbors not long ago! Our goal is to have a successful farm life close to the city we love, Madison, and also build on the enduring partnerships we’ve developed through our farm business.
We believe that family farms nourish not only the people who work them, but also the people they feed and communities in which they live. We believe organic agriculture, diversification and a robust local food system are good for the health of our farm, our customers, our community, ourselves and our environment.
Each year we learn something new about our land as we go about repairing and building new outbuildings and fences, and experience how long winters and short springs impact our daily chores as well as what will thrive on our farm. We’ve also heeded the advice from our farmer friends to start small, find out what we’re good at and make improvements each season. We are good raising animals. Our slow growing breed selection allows us to get to know the animals we raise and fully appreciate the value of bringing quality food to market.
We will continue expanding the garden to provide produce for us, the animals and seasonal offerings for our customers. Improving our pastures and managing the apple orchard are on-going, long term projects. Bee boxes in the orchard make for wonderful honey. Apples are plentiful for the animals and also for our goal of producing apple cider vinegar as we trial a new farm offering.
As we work on bringing our 150-year old farmstead back to life, we continue restoring the original StoneHaus, the elegant structure that first caught our attention. This is also a labor of love but takes a backseat to the daily chores and weekly checklist of our farm goals.