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With a new season of school visits just around the corner we decided to tackle the dreadful section of road just before the Essig farm comes into view. Our tractor with a toothed loader bucket was not able to make a dent in the humps so we called the professionals at A H Moyer Inc. in Myerstown to ask for their help to smooth out this section. So, with the permission of the Army Corps. who own the roadway, we proceeded to contract with A H Moyer to do the work. On March 9, 2023 an operator showed up bright and early with a huge skid steer equipped with a milling attachment on the front. That machine easily ground up the existing macadam surface into small pieces. Then the skid loader moved and smoothed out the piles of millings and finally the surface was rolled to compact the millings. In a few hours that section became the smoothest part of Highland Road. The cost of the project was $1,571.00, which is a comparatively large bill for the farm's maintenance budget. I would invite you to consider making a donation to help defray the cost to this project, which benefits all the users of the Highland Road. Visit our website,, for information about how to make a donation. Thanks!


The fence around the Essig garden was showing signs of deterioration with posts that had rotted in the ground causing leaning fence sections, gates that were not hanging straight, missing and broken pickets, and repairs to the stringers. Yes, rustic looking, but despite continuous ongoing repairs it was looking sad and additional repairs did not seem to be the answer. AKA The Fence Company visited and accepted the job to replace the fence with a new one. The challenge was to not make it appear brand new and perfect but rather to resemble the rustic look of a fence from the late 1800’s. Matt Koch and his crew worked with us to accomplish this goal. The rectangular posts are Locust wood known for its rot resistance, the stringers and pickets are Hemlock. The materials were sourced from Leonard Rohrbach’s sawmill in Bernville who cut the lumber to Matt’s specifications.

Dave Johnston and Dick Schuster removed the old fence and posts which were surprisingly heavy. This task would have not been accomplished without using the farm’s Kubota tractor to pull posts and move the 10-foot fence sections.

Matt and the crew began work on January 16, 2023, setting the new posts, installing the stringers and pickets and wrapped up the project by the end of the following day. The crew’s biggest challenge was to not make the fence look new and perfect as they would for any other customer. Instead, they used random width pickets, with a bit of variation in their length, and the tops of the pickets not perfectly in a straight line - all designed to make the finished project more rustic. Well, the crew nailed it (pun intended) and we have a great looking, sturdy fence with gates that operate effortlessly. The wood will age naturally (with no stain or paint) and Matt suggests that we should expect it to have a weathered patina within a year. Our thanks to AKA Fence Company for this project which enhances one of the first areas that visitors see as they visit the farm.


A new roof for the historic Staudt Farmstead speicher building at Old Dry Road Farm

Mountain View Building was able to fit us into the work schedule this month. They removed the old roof on Wednesday the 13th and with 5 workers, installed the new roof on Thursday the 14th just before the day of the ice storm which would have prevented bringing the equipment down Highland Road. The completed work cost us $10,673. Some of the stringers on the spring house roof were in bad shape but we were able to find lumber in our storage area to use instead of having to buy material.

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