White Oak Farm Celebrates 40 Years!

With a 40 year milestone,  Sally Laing shared some of the history of White Oak Farm with us.

This is the 40th year of our being here at White Oak Farm. We came in July of 1979. My Mom, Jo Nicolaisen (“Grandma Jo”) was with us.

A little history

This was the earlier home of Nathaniel House in the mid 1800’s. The house and property passed through the House family into the 1900’s when it was sold to the Knox family. Fred’s Uncle Bill, William B. Dailey, bought it back from them in the 1940’s.

We bought the property from Uncle Bill, who had been a lawyer with an office in town. Uncle Bill had died in April of 1979 and we bought the farm from his estate. We began to chop our way out of brush and clear the house of Uncle Bill and Aunt Betty’s things.

The farm has special meaning to all of us with the House family history of several generations.)

BBQ Sauce & Jam!

Today, I was looking back through my oldest kept records and found that we started selling Pete’s BBQ sauce to small farm stands and B and B’s as far back as 1989, but I think at Guido’s in 1994 when I have a ticket for them. That makes 25 years this year there. I will tell them next time I deliver to them.

I see that in 1988 I made (here in the house) 67 jars of BBQ sauce in March. On July 15 of that year I made 10 cases or 110 jars. That must have been a long day. And on the 7th of August 1990 I made 125 pints or 18 batches plus a gallon for someone.

Jam… in 1988 I made 1399 jars of jam or chutney… this was before I started making Queens jam in 1994 which quickly became the favorite. I think I made somewhere between 700 to 1600 jars per year depending on what fruit was available each year. All of it was made in my home kitchen which is allowed by the state.

Sharing the love

We were selling raspberries, blueberries, jams and chutney to the Chatham Berry Farm, Landonhurst Farm, the Shekomeko General Store, the New Lebanon Shaker Village, Love Apple, Taft Farm, Lackawanna Farm, and New Leaf. Lots of jams went to the Weathervane.

Raspberries went to the Corn Crib, Elm Court, Swiss Hutte, Weathervane and Egremont Inn (Friday the 18th of August 1989 per my records). Even Molly Zullo was buying raspberries for her stand.

It’s been a great run!

I miss the lovely purple raspberries — Brandywine and Royalty for jam, but I don’t miss cleaning the 10 foot long runners and prickers during the Fall clean-up. Then we had gladiolas a couple of years and several years of garlic.

We’ve had lots of helpers thru the years… I wish I’d been better at keeping track of them.

Visit White Oak Farm online to learn more about their blueberry picking, trout stocking, sweet corn, and enduring Pete’s BBQ Sauce!