Farm Raised

High school sweethearts Scott and Kristen Boehnlein always knew they wanted to be foster parents, but they never imagined they’d be raising eight children—not to mention a herd of hormoneand antibiotic-free cattle, pigs and chickens that are served in some of Cleveland’s top restaurants. The average day at New Creation Farm, a 56-acre property in Chardon Township, can only be described as hectic, but somehow it all works, says Kristen. “The kids make it all worthwhile.”

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Last May, one of the Scottish Highland cows gave birth, but immediately rejected its offspring, so 16-year-old Isabella took over as a surrogate mother.

“The day Biscuit was born, Dad opened the door of the pickup truck and lifted this white bundle of fur out of it,” says Isabella. “I was like, ‘Did you bring home a stray dog?’ He said, ‘No, it’s a cow and I need you to bottle feed her.’ Now, she just comes running when she sees me. She thought I was her mom.”

After finishing their school work, the kids tackle chores on the farm. Ethan and T.J. add logs to the wood-burning furnace that heats their house. “It has to be done four times a day,” says Ethan. “If I don’t do it, I’d be taking a cold shower.” Julia takes care of the dogs that guard the hen house. “They are very protective of the hens and cows,” she says. “We have lots of coyotes.”

Even as dinnertime approaches, the chores still aren’t done. While Isabella washes the eggs in the sink, Rosy sorts them with Kristen, Ethan cooks the farm’s own sausage, T.J. prepares a salad and Scott spends some time with Zoe. When the meal is ready, the family gathers around the table to eat with Kristen’s mom and Scott’s dad, who come for dinner every night.

To purchase New Creation Farm products visit them at the North Union Farmers Market at Shaker Square on Saturdays or their farm store at 12126 Clark Road in Chardon (Hours: Mon & Weds 1–6pm, Sat 2–5pm). NewCreationFarms.com.