Another Accidental Farmer: History of the Dashing Star Flock
In 1993, a local shepherd with a flock of 30 purebred show sheep needed a place to store them, allegedly for a temporary stay. We accepted the ask as a favor; however they never returned to claim the flock. Thus, we went through our first lambing season much by accident.
Starting in earnest in 1994, we developed our own unique cross breed of sheep primarily using the English Romney and Border Leicester breeds while selecting for a distinct palette of natural colors and wool characteristics and producing a true multi-purpose animal. The addition of Columbia, Corriedale, Dorset, Southdown, and Romanov breeds enhanced our genetics; and the 2006 introduction of purebred Coopworth, developed originally in New Zealand, and Finnsheep, known for the tenderest meat, dramatically improved our flock.
We started our operation with half a dozen hens for our personal use, and gradually expanded to our current flock of 150-250 hens. We naturally raise and pasture Araucanas, Buff Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, Anconas, Cuckoo Marans, Pearl Leghorns, Rose-combs and Single-comb Brown Leghorns, New Hampshire Reds, Red Stars, True Blue and True Green Whitings, as well as Toulouse geese.
Dashing Star Farm is named for our now passed but cherished border collie and sheep herder, Blaze-in-Sky Dashing Star.
History of the Property
Dashing Star Farm is located on the historic Stephen D. Wheeler Farmstead in the heart of the Coleman Station Historic District (listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 1993). The farm infrastructure dates to 1820 (residence) and 1840 (barn) and 1925 (barn complex). We rehabilitated the barn and barn complex structures with the support of the NYS Historic Barns program in 2005.
The historic Wheeler Farm began as a diversified operation in the eighteenth century that transitioned to dairy farming with the advent of the NY & Harlem Railroad. Under the ownership of the Rundle Family beginning in 1930, it gradually shifted to sheep production. At the onset of our tenure, the farm was being utilized for heifers from a neighboring dairy farm.
Dashing Star Farm is a business and an agricultural operation firmly based in science.
We were recently approved for inclusion in the NY Grown and Certified Program, which requires extensive regular inspections of farm facilities and livestock and testing of poultry and eggs. As we adapt to the climate change crisis, continuing education becomes even more important. In doing so, we are also dedicated to mentoring the next generation of agricultural professionals. We accept applications for apprenticeships on a rolling basis.