Homesteading's where the heart is

Homesteading's where the heart is

Check out a 30-second video of feeding time at the farm here: https://www.valleybreeze.com/2013-05-08/features/feeding-time-legends-cr...

FOSTER - For Aden and Jon Mott-Restivo, the day usually starts even before the crack of dawn.

While most others are still in bed, catching the last few winks of sleep before the workday begins, these men are on the move, bustling about their 35-acre Legend's Creek Farm on Hartford Pike.

Their 30 or so chickens - "They're hard to count," Aden pointed out - do not live in a coop, so egg hunts are a regular activity. Not even the cat's bed is out of bounds.

Once the morning chores are complete, though, Jon puts on a freshly pressed suit, says goodbye to his husband and pets, and drives his Smart Car convertible 25 minutes into Providence to practice law downtown.

Aden stays behind with his pick-up truck and blue jeans to tend to the farm and stock the small farm stand at the end of the driveway of number 38A, where passersby can pick up fresh eggs and produce on most spring weekends for a cash payment left on the honor system.

He mends fences, since the farm's 12 goats "make it their life's mission to get out" and he wants to avoid chasing Babs Johnson, Dawn Davenport or Dolores Claiborne around the yard.

"They're silly names, but they suit them because they're funny animals," Aden said with a laugh. "They're like little people."

He checks on the honey bee hives, situated down the creek and near the lake that feeds into the Scituate Reservoir. He readies the raised-bed vegetable garden and 15 fruit trees for the growing season.

Meanwhile, three Australian Shepherds run about underfoot. There's Bella patiently awaiting a belly rub, Buster showing off his favorite stick du jour, and Legend, the dog for whom the farm is named.

Rose, the heifer, moseys around as BoBo, the llama, keeps a watchful eye over the joint, ready to kick any predator who moves in on his mixed-species family.

And when the 9-to-5 is done, Jon comes home and picks up right where he left off.

"There's not really a point in having a to-do list," he said. "I at least get enjoyment out of the work itself. It's amazing."

But living off the land, eating free range chickens and drinking raw goat's milk, is worth more than a life of leisure to this family.

"It's a lot of work, but it's rewarding," Aden said.

It is a dream the couple both shared. After they met through mutual friends more than five years ago, Aden said they "instantly fell in love" and began planning for a home on a farm. Aden, a Boston native and third-generation farmer who attended Norfolk County Agricultural High School in Walpole, Mass., followed Jon, a North Providence native who said "he always talked about living this kind of life," to Missouri, where they were urban farmers while Jon attended law school.

The longest they have been apart was Jon's last semester of school in 2011, when they bought the overgrown property in Foster, and Aden got a jump start on a seemingly never-ending list of landscaping and home renovation chores.

At the same time, he was also maintaining his "Gay Gourmet" blog - www.gaygourmet.co - where he regularly posts recipes and drool-worthy photos of meals made from fresh produce. Some of the most recent posts are recipes for garlic broccoli tahini stir fry and pineapple carrot cake cupcakes in a jar. The Mott-Restivos even made their own bacon fat candles.

Years ago, Jon had the foresight to trademark the name, so now they are working on branding and getting their goods, like chicken hatching eggs, to the people.

Soon, residents of Foster and beyond will be able to enjoy organic products of Legend's Creek Farm. Maple syrup, honey, eggs and heirloom vegetables will be available sooner than dairy products, like homemade cheese, which Jon said friends go crazy over.

They are working on obtaining a dairy license in the next several years, and also one to sell meat, like the free range chickens they enjoy. Cosmetic products, like soaps and lotions, are also in the works.

Jon and Aden say they are partial to their homemade apple butter and pepper jelly.

The farm will be open for business in early June, and people are asked to call ahead to 401-400-2889 with specific requests.

Sharing the literal fruits of their labors with others is just another added perk of a job where nature makes the rules.

"It's nice to have things and appreciate them, and have other people appreciate them also," Aden said, pointing out that both families have been supportive, yet occasionally skeptical, of their sons' farming ways.

"Some of them think we're nuts and do too much, but that makes us want to do it even more," he said.

For more information about Legend's Creek Farm, visit www.legendscreekfarm.com , or stop by 38A Hartford Pike.