Welcome to Wintonbury Farm LLC, our home in northern Jefferson County, New York and owned by Richard and Mariann Johnston. The name “Wintonbury Farm” originates several generations back, with Richard’s great-great-grandparents’ farm in early Bloomfield, Connecticut. Visit the Wintonbury Historical Society for a fascinating history of that area, including the origin of the name “Wintonbury.” Later on, Richard’s grandparents and uncles operated Wintonbury Farm as a dairy farm in Addison County, Vermont. We are proud to continue the family farming name and tradition today here in northern New York.
Our New York farm dates back to the mid 1800’s. The most recent owners acquired the farm just after WWII, and operated a dairy farm here while raising a family (and from what we hear, they hosted some pretty spectacular barn dances too!). Since the previous owners’ retirement in the 1980’s, neighboring farmers have kept the fields mowed and pastures grazed. We were fortunate enough to buy the property, and presently continue to work with our neighbors to supply hay and pasture for local organic dairy operations. We are also beginning our own enterprise: the production of forest-cultivated, log-grown shiitake mushrooms for health-conscious consumers and high-end restaurants throughout the Thousand Islands region.
Though new to farming, Richard and Mariann bring life experience to the business. Richard works with conservation easements in northern New York, and has many years of experience as a forest consultant and logger, and is familiar with the tree species best-suited for shiitake production and their harvest and handling. Mariann teaches forestry and natural resources management at a local technical college. She currently teaches mycology (the study of fungi/mushrooms), has taken several workshops and webinars on forest-grown shiitake mushroom production, and is a member of Cornell University’s forest mushroom grower’s network. Together with our family, we hope to grow Wintonbury Farm LLC into a successful business.