Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: Family

What were the odds…

…with four daughters what were the odds they would all marry men who love to cook? I’m a lucky guy and am particularly blessed when Thistle Hill can supply the entree! Son-in-law Curt Humphreys demonstrates what a pork loin should look like: perfectly pink. You won’t find flavor like this at a supermarket. Curt did […]

Breeding step two…

…is very much a family affair. The herd has to be brought in from the pasture and sorted to isolate the target cows. We started in the dark, in a light rain. Grandson Church is really in charge now. He administers a shot of lutalyze which will bring the cow into heat in 48-72 hours. […]


…do not date a farmer! He will put you to work! Here Mackenzie Mason, who could be basking in the sun in San Diego, is helping with a rush fencing repair job. She’s in the camo jacket with son-in-law Curt Humphreys. Take our word for it: she’s pretty! David

Our newest hand…

…and a picture of pure joy. Oliver and mom, Ashley! Maybe he should go in our calving report. Oliver was eight pounds-one ounce…and big hands and feet indicate he’s going to be a big ‘un like his Dad.  A tribute to carefully selected genetics: Warhurst, Ostroski, Mayo and Schoumacher. Check out the girth! Okay, the […]

Living in a resort…

…that’s what my 18 years at Thistle Hill have felt like. The farm has been in the family a lot longer…almost 75 years. And now a new generation…the fourth…is beginning to take hold.  Grandson Church Humphreys is managing our Devon cattle herd and showing the same appreciation for the setting in the Blue Ridge mountains […]

Let’s call this before….

Christmas weekend opened splendidly with sunrise reflected off the Blue Ridge..captured by our designated early riser, daughter Carolyn. But if there’s a before there must be an after.  At the moment Carolyn took the before picture a passing motorist was also admiring the sunrise over Thistle Hill.  At least that’s what he told the investigating […]

At the end of the day….

….the sun sets over the Blue Ridge mountains.  Photo by our daughter, Carolyn Matthews.  

Moving cattle….

….our “grazing guru”, Jim Gerrish, has written an article about the best time of day to move cattle.  We didn’t realize there was much debate but, anyway, Jim recommends mornings. As always, Jim “nails it” but we particularly enjoyed the picture he used to illustrate putting up temporary fencing on his ranch. By coincidence […]

Buddy is in the house!

Thanks to son Church Matthews on several levels.  To explain: “Buddy” is this two-week old calf, a twin rejected by his mother that we brought into the garage and bottle-fed.  In addition to being orphaned, he also had a serious infection that had crippled him and left him mostly blind.  That required we “break protocol” […]

In the beginning….

….this was Thistle Hill Farm! Wooz’ parents bought the farm at the end of World War II.  This is 1947….her father is sitting on the steps….an aunt in dark clothing in the center…her mother in white on the left.  (click to enlarge) Wooz and her sister slept in the kitchen…her parents in the other room […]