New Life for an Old Farm

Countryside Initiative welcomes its newest farmers, Mark Trapp and Emily Stefanak! The couple moved into the old Holland Farm on route 303 between Hudson and Peninsula in May. If you are

Mark & Emily

familiar with this area, you may recall passing this abandoned, old farmstead, consisting of a deteriorating house, neglected farm fields and the hastily restored barn. Drive by today and you will see a much more pleasing landscape. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park did a remarkable job restoring the farmhouse and preparing the site for its new residents. After the restoration, the Countryside Initiative hosted a competitive request for proposals process. Mark clearly submitted the strongest proposal, and together the couple has shown the passion, dedication and commitment to be part of this unique program.

The Countryside Initiative program was launched in 1999 as part of a collaborative partnership between the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Countryside Conservancy. CI is charged with helping to preserve the rural character and landscape of CVNP by restoring and revitalizing farms located within the park’s boundaries. The addition of the Trapp Family Farm brings the Countryside Initiative farm total to eleven. A list of all the Initiative Farms can be found at: http://www.cvcountryside.org/profiles-ci/index.php.

In the near future, the Trapp Family Farm will offer CSA memberships as well as farm-stand sales. An exciting part of their business model includes the use of draft horses. Soon Mark will be out in his fields with his team cutting hay much the way his predecessors did in the 1800’s when the farm was originally built. But for now, as passersby may have noticed, they have their chickens doing the field work.  Housed in portable shelters, the chickens are pastured in the fields along route 303. This mutually beneficial relationship, along with other sustainable agricultural practices, is an important part of the Trapp Farm’s sustainability commitment to the Countryside Initiative and CVNP. 

To learn more about the Trapp Family Farm, or other Countryside Initiative Farms, contact the Countryside Conservancy at 330-657-2542 www.cvcountryside.org

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