Williamsburg’s Valley View Farm Finally in Full Swing
The Daily Hampshire Gazette, May 14, 2017, by Fran Ryan.
After four years of building, renovating, repurposing and going through a sometimes bumpy and lengthy permitting process, Valley View Farm in Williamsburg is now a fully functioning multi-use farm.
The farm features a large event venue, lodging, a sugarhouse, winery, farm stand and wooded trails and meadows that are used for unique outdoor theater events.
“We have finally received all of our permits and last week we had our first wedding,” owner Sue Fortgang said. “We are up and running and open for business, and we are very happy about that.”
Fortgang and her husband, David Nehring, purchased the 100-acre farm in 2013 with the goal of preserving the land from development and bringing the fallow farm back to life.
They began producing hay, pumpkins, maple syrup and flowers, but to keep the farm viable, they needed additional income.
Over the last four years the couple have relocated two historic post-and-beam barns to their property and rebuilt them, refurbished an original 1850 farmhouse, erected a hand-built stone sugarhouse, and purchased and renovated a three-bedroom home that abutted their property.
One barn is a now a rustically elegant, 4,000-square-foot event venue with 33-foot cathedral ceilings, a bar, hayloft bridal suite, and a full catering kitchen. The barn can accommodate 200 guests.
The second barn is an open-air pavilion that is a furnished seasonal space used for ceremonies, acoustic music and casual gatherings.
The farm also accommodates overnight guests in its restored farmhouse, which is furnished with antiques and sleeps 14 people. An additional three-bedroom house sleeps eight.
To accomplish all of this and satisfy concerns from some abutters and the town Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals, the couple had to produce an environmental sound study, a drainage and erosion control plan, a stormwater-runoff analysis and a traffic impact study.
According to Fortgang, she and Nehring have spent over $2 million on the project.
Now the farm produces apples, peaches, pumpkins, maple syrup, cider, and flowers, runs a farm stand and also boards horses.
“Next weekend we are having a farm theater that takes people on a candlelit trail that has 30 actors staged in the woods,” Fortgang said. “There will also be a bonfire and food trucks.”
The theater presentation, called the May Queen, is a family event that will take place on May 19 and 20 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
For more information on Valley View Farm, contact Sue Fortgang at 917-592- 4999, or firstname.lastname@example.org.