Thorncrest Farm in Goshen, Connecticut, is a haven of creativity, hardwork, and artistry. Located in Litchfield County, the farm is a true reflection of its unique and multi-talented owners, Clint and Kimberly Thorn. In addition to raising their two sons (now grown and involved in the family businesses), Garret and Lyndon, Clint and Kimberly have devoted their lives to raising cows and creating art. Clint bought his first cow in high school and has been raising cows ever since.
Today, the Thorns milk about 25 cows, and have about 70 cattle total in their award-winning herd. Their oldest son, Garret, has become manager of the farm, directing field work and keeping the herd content. He keeps the farm running smoothly. In 2011, the Thorns moved their operation across town to its current location, and erected a massive wooden barn from wood harvested from the land by their younger son, Lyndon.
Today, the barn houses the many facets of this bustling agribusiness. Clint is a self-taught woodworker and sculptor. In addition to dairying, he owns a business called The Open Talon. Clint creates elegant, classical, high-end, handcrafted furniture and sculptures. His signature "Open Talon Ball and Claw" pieces are highly prized by collectors. He is a well-known master of "the ball and claw" design motif, which originated in ancient China. Represented by a dragon's claw clutching a pearl, the design signifies purity, truth, and wisdom. Creating this intricate design requires the highest standards of precision craftsmanship. "I have always enjoyed creating things," says Clint, who admits to being a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to his designs. "It takes patience and dedication, but it is totally rewarding. In that way, I guess it's a lot like farming."
Art also runs in the family. Lyndon joined Clint at The Open Talon in 2010, working alongside his father creating in signature pieces. Kimberly is an artisanal chocolatier. Since the 1980's, she has honed her skills and recipes, and today she is well known for creating exquisite, hand-made chocolates. Kim uses milk of the highest quality, straight from Holsteins she has raised and nurtured herself at Thorncrest Farm. She uses milk from individual cows to create each flavor. "Each cow's milk tastes different," Kimberly says. "For instance, Viola's milk is different from Pearl's. So I use their milk differently, to create different flavors of chocolates".
Chocolate lovers flock to Thorncrest to see Kimberly at work and purchase confections straight from the farmstead. Her on-farm chocolate shop is regularly open Fridays and Saturdays, with extra hours leading up to Valentines Day. She blends Thorncrest milk with farm fresh ingredients to create exotic flavors like Dark Chocolate Ginger, Pumpkin, Lemon Citrus Dark, and White Chocolate Mango. Kim’s fan base is very devoted, but she defers the kudos to the cows: “It’s the cows who deserve the credit. Without them, I couldn’t do any of this. I know each cow personally, and they are all unique. They’ve given me everything – a business, a creative outlet, a lifestyle – even spiritually. I am grateful to each one of them,” she says. “We always say, ‘the magic is in the milk!”
Kim is also a talented cheese-maker, a skill she enjoys sharing with the community. She teaches a variety of cheese-making classes at the farm, where students can learn how to create everything from basic butter and yogurt, to mozzarella and complex cheddars.
Thorncrest Farm is a beloved part of the Goshen community, where visitors can enjoy pastoral views, taste exquisite flavors, and even participate in hands-on activities.“We feel fortunate to be part of this community,” Kim says, “and we are so glad to welcome others to our farm. It’s a wonderful life here, and we look forward to sharing the experience with others.”
Visit Us: Thorncrest Farm | The Open Talon