Around the Farm


In addition to all the activities associated with the production of ice creams at Woodside Farm, numerous other activities occur throughout the year. While not open to the public for general tours or visiting, the Mitchell Family actively supports various organizations and their educational efforts. Working the fields and insuring the health of the farm's herds of cows, sheep, and goats is hard work lasting from dusk till dawn seven days a week, every week of the year. As America's quantity of family-owned farms decreases each year, Woodside Farm remains an active reminder of our nation's agricultural heritage. Below is a sampling of some of the behind the scenes activities at Woodside Farm.


Approximately 30 head of Jersey cows make up the heard at Woodside Farm. Early in the calendar year each cow gives birth to begin the year's milking season. Pictured at the left is the Delmarva 4H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) club conducting dairy cow judging at the farm. Through the judging process members learn much about the characteristics and nature of not only Jersey cows but other breeds as well. Their experiences expose them to judging other livestock and learning about the proper care and breeding of farm animals.

For several years Woodside Farm has supported a Little League ball team. Each year the team visits the farm to enjoy the ice creams offered. Pictured at the right is the team for 2004.

A new activity for 2004 was Telescope Night. Held on several summer evenings, the open grassy areas around Woodside Farm provide an excellent location for members of the Delaware Astronomical Society (DAS) to set up their telescopes for the enjoyment of the public. Many of the telescopes are handmade by DAS members and Creamery patrons are invited to view various astronomical bodies and to ask questions about the astronomy hobby. Check the Cowender of Events for the date and time of the next Telescope Night event.

Since 1985 Debbie Mitchell has carved pumpkins and placed them on display around Woodside Farm. The peacock to the right is an example of her varied talent. Each year Debbie picks a theme for her display. Past years' themes included "Under the Ocean", "Travel", "Fairy Tales", and "Farm Life". Debbie's displays use between between 40 and 100 pumpkins with single displays incorporating a dozen or more pumpkins! Click on the link below to see additional examples of Debbie's artistry and check the Cowender of Events for the date of this year's display.

Above Jim Mitchell teaches one of his nephews Edward and Ean how to prepare a Jersey for milking. Jim is the seventh generation of Mitchell's to call Woodside Farm "home". From his ancestor's purchase of the land in 1796 until 1961 Woodside Farm served as a dairy farm supplying milk to a portion of New Castle County Delaware. From 1962 until 1994 the farm produced various crops, eggs, poultry, sheep, beef, flowers, and pumpkins. In the spring of 1995, dairy cows once again became the primary focus on the farm. With the herd of Jersey cows well established, Woodside Farm Creamery began offering homemade ice creams in 1998.

Hey Abbie, isn't this good eating being treated
to graze on the owner's front yard?

Abbie (standing, looking at the camera), is one of the patriarchs of Woodside Farm's Jersey herd. The farm's fields are divided into paddocks and the herd grazes in a different paddock daily. This allows the lush grasses to recover after a day's "mowing". Occasionally the herd is turned loose on the lawn of Jim and Janet Mitchell's home for a few hours of relaxed grazing. While allowing several 1000-pound cows to graze on the front lawn might startle some homeowners, there's a definite benefit from the natural fertilizers left behind!

Several dozen sheep and goats are residents of Woodside Farm along with numerous cats and several dogs. Most evenings the sheep and goats are turned loose from their pasture to dine on the grasses in and around the Mitchell Farmhouse, Ice Cream Stand, Office, and Milking Parlor. Watching the sheep and goats graze is a treat for families relaxing together at the picnic table area in front of the ice cream stand. Each Spring Debbie Mitchell has the sheep sheared for their wool which she spins into yarn and puts to various uses including the making of crafts and clothing.

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