Longfield is a small, diversified family-owned farm located in the Town of Knox, New York (pop. 2600), about 15 miles west of Albany. We produce grass-fed lamb, wool and fiber crafts, free-range chicken, pasture-raised eggs and artisan breads. We are committed to sustainable pasture management, humane animal husbandry and ethical behavior both on the farm and in the market.
The name Longfield was given to the farm by David and Mary Spencer, who established their homestead here in 1842. Apparently the Spencers raised chickens, had a garden and a small apple orchard. The farm remained with the Spencers and their heirs for many years. Pam and Gary Kleppel bought Longfield in 2000 and began farming in 2004. The main house is constructed in the traditional post and beam style characteristic of the period. Some of the hand-hewn beams are still visible in the old servants’ quarters, which is now used as our wood-fired bakery. The second story was added to the midsection of the main house in the 1930’s.
The principal barn at Longfield Farm was constructed circa 1900. We added an overhang, called the Shed, to the east side in 2002. Our sheep spend winters in the barn and shed areas, the latter being used for lambing in the spring. They always have access to the outdoors, but can get out of the weather when necessary. When we came to Longfield, the barn had been turned into a carport. The barn doors had been replaced with an overhead garage door, complete with automatic garage-door opener. A white 1957 Mercedes roadster with red leather upholstery sat on the concrete pad. The walls had been covered in sheet rock and the ceiling was covered with acoustic tile. The beautiful wood siding was covered over with vinyl siding. We have slowly but surely been turning the barn back into a barn. Much of the vinyl siding is gone and the overhead garage door has been replaced by a pair of beautiful swinging doors, built by master woodworker Charles Donnelly.
Our newest barn was constructed in the traditional post-and-beam style by local craftsmen, Brett Pulliam and Nathan Giordano. It is a saltbox design, with the front section used for equipment and hay storage and the rear used to house our adult rams and ram lambs (at different times).