ABOUT OUR FAMILY FARM
Little did we realize, when we bought our farm here on Federal Road, that my Father’s Grandfather had lived on this very same road back in the early 1900’s, raising cattle to sell at the local market in Englishtown, NJ. I guess you could say “it runs in the family”. You see, my Mother’s Mother also had a little farm here in Monroe when she arrived in the United States back in 1900.
So, when we decided it was time for us to expound on our dream and have a farm of our own, we found our "oasis" right here on Federal Road - grass had never been mowed and weeds were 3' tall, house was rented by a band, and it was in great disrepair. Housing market was hot, yet after being for sale for two years, folks walked away seeing all the work that was necessary to make this house a home. We, on the other hand, saw a diamond in the rough. We hand-wrote a letter to the owner, telling her of my family’s history in Monroe, of our dream to transform this house into a lovely little ranch/farm, and to be self-sufficient as my Grandparents, and Great Grandparents did. And so our story began, and Cranbury Brook Farm was born. Since that time, we were fortunate to be able to purchase additional land to now have a 10 acre, self-sufficient and manageble farm.
We started with 3 little goats – Daphne, Zoe, and Daisy. Began building a small pen, then pastures, then horses, chickens, ducks, rabbits, pig, barn, and we were growing in leaps and bounds. Our dreams had been realized. Then, in 2008, things took a drastic and unexpected change. Greg was diagnosed with HOCM (hypertrophic obstructive cardio myopathy) – it was open heart surgery (septal myectomy) or a heart transplant. We chose the myectomy and Greg was immediately scheduled at Johns Hopkins by one of their top surgeons, who does 10 of these surgeries per year as this is a very unique and difficult surgery. It took two weeks before Greg’s heart restarted, and only 2 chambers function – he is now pacemaker dependent and has a defibrillator; he also lost a lung in the process. At the same time, he was battling many other health issues, as he is also a disabled war Veteran who was in the first Iraq war - Greg's whole life was a soldier. Shortly thereafter, two of our sons were also hospitalized with different, but serious, illnesses. It took it’s toll on our family, but we became stronger. We thought about leaving our dream, but realized that our animals and our farm were our therapy. Sitting out there in the fields, reaping the fruits and vegetables of our gardens, watching others come here and enjoy our farm as much as we did – priceless.
We have 8 children between us. Five children were raised here on the farm – ages 37 down to 19 now. We also now have been blessed with plenty of grandchildren to share our love of the land, and our animals.
So you see, my family is now 5th generation here in Monroe – I’ve seen this community change from nothing but farmland. Our farm is now like an island in the middle of suburbia. When folks visit, they cannot believe how different it feels when they drive down the lane and stand by the barn.
Our farm was featured on Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet, Too Cute – our Coton DeTulear’s were the main stars, but all our farm animals were included, especially little Pipsqueek, our miniature pygmy goat who was raised in the house with our Coton puppies. We also recently did a TV commercial spot for Food Network’s Chopped and Hyundai, which also featured our farm. We also have been visited by many photographers, using our farm setting, and our animal, for their works. One, whom we are very excited to share, we will be posting shortly as it's still in the works but almost complete! We are also well-known in our community, and have volunteered our farm to the Rutgers Museum of Agriculture summer camp program for years until they recently lost their funding, and are always willing to share our knowledge and love of animals, self-sufficiency, and gardening.
We believe in caring for our animals with excellent management skills, quality feed and hay, and most of all, love. We’ve taken in many animals as “rescues” (and still do from time to time) – animals folks could no longer care for, and had to place. Most are kept here, and others we hold until we find that “perfect home”. Please note, however, that we are a private farm - not open to the public. We open at times to sell some of our goats, and other livestock.
You can contact us regarding boarding horses, our Coton DeTulear dogs, our chickens or ducks, or even our bottle-fed goats that we often sell for pets.
SPECIAL NOTE: We are, however, currently on a hiatus here at the farm as Greg has been very ill since August of 2015. We have put a lot on hold, and the future right now is unknown. We ask for your patience when you contact us.
To contact us, please email us at NewJerseyFarmer@aol.com ... please use our email to contact us, or you can call us at 609-918-0351. Please, always call or email for an appointment. DO NOT SHOW UP WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT! Thank you for your patience!