It’s a positive experience to meet people who are engaged in nurturing others.
Linda Steiner Pascascio, Ph.D. and her husband Jeremie Pascascio have undertaken daunting challenges by housing 60 animals – of many varieties – and loving them every day at Egg Harbor’s Plum Loco Animal Farm, now in its fifth full season, located on Plum Bottom Road, three miles east of Highway 42.
Once a working dairy farm stood where the animals reside and across 41 acres, Jeremie, who grew up on a farm in Belize, S.A., works diligently among the 4,000 feet of linear cedar fence and the three generously sized and remarkably beautiful gazebos that top the concrete slabs that once held grain bins. This skilled carpenter is actually an artist, his talents displayed in the Farm’s logo, which sports a flamboyant horse with a rose in its teeth. That horse must look inviting because ticket sales have doubled every year since the venture was born.
“We’re accustomed to multitasking,” Linda jokes as she reveals the details of a tricky schedule that includes her full-time position teaching as an applied social psychologist at University of Wisconsin Green Bay (including summer school) plus the care and feeding of horses and ponies, miniature horses and donkeys, four breeds of goat, three breeds of sheep, pigs, geese and chickens. Another crowd pleaser is Lani, the pot-bellied pig, hopelessly in love with Jeremie.
If you think it’s the epitome of a lovely country idyll, consider chopping 300 to 400 lbs of carrots each week for the visitors to feed to the horses. Bright-colored pails of food are provided to guests along with instructions on how to feed animals so that no one gives grain or carrots to the wrong creature or gets a finger inadvertently nipped.
“I love animals,” she declares, “and I love children.” She has developed a mentoring program for young girls who want to help on the farm; they can set up the playhouse equipment and fill some of the food buckets. A strong advocate of instilling self-confidence in young people, she teaches her students to open their eyes, think clearly, and examine what is true. Such refreshing passion is evident in her desire to not just do well, but to do good.
The third part of Linda and Jeremie’s partnership was her mother Faith Steiner, a fervent supporter of the Farm and the one who kept the household running smoothly. Faith passed away a few weeks ago, leaving a sad void but also an inspiration to excel.
Part of the Farm’s mission statement, displayed on a sign as you enter the premises, after crossing a rustic bridge from the parking area, presents a goal: “…to maximize the comfort and quality of life of our precious animal family as they live out their natural lives. Sound totally crazy …? Perhaps. But it is with this vision in mind that we welcome how to share a relaxing and enjoyable experience at this animal farm we call home.”
So what’s on the drawing board? How about a child-size barber shop and a veterinary clinic? There’s a lot of work still to be done in the short building season. The Farm is closed only on Wednesdays and is open after Labor Day on the weekends.
How to find Plum Loco Animal Farm
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