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Johnson Farm Feature

Just off the main route 103 in Mount Holly sits a place where the sun hits just right. Where beautiful cows roam, chickens lay eggs and turkeys rest in the shade. The feeling you get when you pull up to the Johnson Farm at 1004 Hortonville Road is so welcome and relaxing.

You would often hear Millicent Johnson walking around and talking to the animals. “Hi babies!” she would say.

After Millicent and Jim Johnson came to Wright Construction saying their barn was on the verge of collapsing, we knew that we wanted to help them out and repair that part of the foundation that was destroyed from frost over the years.

“Not only was the wall being pushed in because of the frost and everything, but the movement of that was pushing the top out.” Millicent said about the warped nature of the wall before the renovation.

The original foundation, believe it or not, had little to no rebar at all in the concrete. With the weight of the hay on the second floor and the harsh Vermont winters, it just started crumbling.

“I asked him (the contractor who did the original foundation) about it when they were getting ready to pour the wall, I said, shouldn’t you have some rebar or something in there? Because the footing was there and they put the wall on top, but it was just free-floating,” Jim said.

While Wright typically works on larger renovations and new builds, helping this local farm was a no brainer to us. Concrete work is a specialty of Wright and offering this service allows our clients to cut out the middleman and save time and money.

With just a couple of guys and a few short weeks, the wall was replaced, and the tractor was back under a covered roof! The farm never stopped operating during construction.

“20-ton hydraulic jacks they (Wright Construction) let me borrow.” Jim said. “I needed something to hold the wall in place until I got the studs put back.”

“They said, ‘no, no. we’re going to leave these here and you can use them.’” Millicent commented.

The work of a farmer is never-ending and is in the mercy of nature and the elements. To be able to offer fresh, from-the-source milk and eggs to the community is rewarding and the biggest motivator for the Johnson's.

The Johnson’s also get to experience something that hardly any of us will ever be able to. When they sit down at the dinner table after a hard day’s work know everything they have cultivated and prepared themselves.

“For me, it’s sitting down at the table and looking at the plate and saying, ‘I did this’. And being able to say, “thank you” God for giving us the opportunity, the strength, the know how to be able to put food on our table. There’s not too many people that can say that” Millicent said.

“I like being my own boss. And I like working outdoors and I like the animals and running the equipment,” said Jim.

“It’s a unique tension between dependence and independence,” Millicent and Jim’s son said, “The weight of the responsibility is on you, but you also have the freedom to be creative with it. How you design your schedule, how you design the layout of the farm. There are infinite possibilities for how you can use the resources that you have available on the land, to include the animals. And you are producing something of value at the end of it.”

They will never take all the credit though, because according to the Johnson's, only God can make the plants grow.

Stop in to say hi at the Johnson Farm, pick up some eggs, visit the animals and have a nice conversation with the family. We really enjoyed working with them and we think you will love them too!

It was so important that the Johnson's called us when they did because that barn wall was on its last leg. Do not wait too long to start your project! Give Wright Construction a call today to start your renovation/building experience. 802.259.2094.

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