When Jake Guest arrived at the old Norwich farmhouse where Valerie Woodhouse and Eli Hersh were planning their spring crops last Thursday morning, he did something that still feels a bit strange to him: He knocked on the door.
For nearly 40 years, Guest and his wife, Liz, lived in this house and ran Killdeer Farm, selling organic vegetables and bedding plants at their farm stand and directly from their greenhouses. Last summer, they sold the farm to Woodhouse and Hersh, who have renamed it Honey Field Farm. The young couple plan to continue their own wholesale vegetable business and take over where the Guests left off, while exploring new possibilities for the Butternut Road property.
Hersh and Woodhouse’s jackets now hang in the entryway, and their aging black lab, Molly, and orange tabby cat, Milo, snooze by the wood stove, but the Guests are regular visitors in their former home, serving in a consulting capacity for the young couple as they make the transition.
“We are extremely fortunate to be taking this land over. They’ve done a spectacular job,” said Hersh, sitting by a window looking out on some of the farm’s greenhouses. “Having their help and goodwill has been super useful.”