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Raising the Hoof

June 07, 2009

If the standard American dream includes a warm home surrounded by a white picket fence, 2.3 children and a dog, then Abbe and Anderson Turner have created a life far beyond the wildest – pun intended – dreams of the typical nuclear family. As the proprietors of Lucky Penny Farm in Garrettsville, Ohio, the couple has a cozy abode, picturesque picket fence, three young children – Madeline, Lily and Ezra – and two dogs with a total of seven legs. They also have approximately 14 acres of land, where visitors will find a selection of much-loved creatures that would please Noah himself: more than 80 Alpine, Nubian and LaMancha goats, chickens, three horses, nearly a dozen rescued cats, a colony of honeybees and an inquisitive llama named The Ledgendary Daryl [sic], who watches over the flock at night.

“When Anderson and I decided to start a family, we also made the decision to raise our children with a healthy respect for art, science and nature, and things made by hand,” says Abbe, who is also development director for the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy. “We are a modern family, but we also try to get the kids to be outside and develop their own critical thinking skills by exploration.” Nine- year-old Madeline understands breeding and genetics, with a keen interest in breeding for specific traits. Lily, who is eight years old, enjoyed selling tomatoes from the 50 plants her parents planted last year.”When our son Ezra was younger, we were walking through the grocery store, he said, ‘look mom, they have apples here, too!'” says Abbe. “My youngest daughter once asked, ‘can we get those chickens that lay white eggs?’ because the blue, the green and the brown were all they’d ever seen. “There’s a level of understanding that I believe is deeper because we live here,” says Abbe.

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by Ivan J. Sheehan, Northern Ohio Live