David Perry, Poughkeepsie NY

In 1950, my uncle and aunt purchased a farm in Randolph Center, near land owned by his family since 1836. They ran a dairy and lived on the property until 2002.

My childhood was spent in several places due to my father’s job transfers. The farm was the one physical constant in my life, providing a sense of continuity and family history. There I also learned about food production and rural life. Otherwise I would have had no idea where food really comes from.

The farm reflected the changes in Vermont agriculture. My uncle used horses for two years until he could afford a tractor. I well remember the tall metal milk cans used before bulk tanks. But the hilly farm could support only a small herd and became unsustainable. My uncle once said, “This place will never ship milk again.” Yet it remains a special place in my heart.