The Details

Who: Erick Doyle, 44, Owner, Readington River Farm and Kristen Doyle, 42, Graphic designer and account coordinator for Xillix, a pharmaceutical marketing firm in Flemington.

Home Cost: $575K (Purchased in 1995)

Children: Sadie, 7 and Piper, 9

NJF: What’s a typical day like for your family on the farm?

KD: I go to the gym at 6:20 am and Erick gets the girls up by 7. He stops working at 3:40 pm to get the girls off the bus (until hay season in the fall—then Erick’s parents pick them up). The girls have after-school activities, like “Girls on the Run” (Piper’s running club), Girl Scouts, gymnastics and nature class. My husband works all day on Saturdays, so it’s usually just me and the girls until he joins us in the evening. If he doesn’t have to work on Sundays, we go out as a family. But from June through October we stick around the farm, since it’s so busy.

NJF: What are the benefits of raising your girls on a working buffalo farm? 

KD: We’ve been able to give them so many out-of-the-ordinary experiences. We’ve taught them to plant seeds, raise animals for food, find animal tracks and compost. The hardest part of raising young children on a farm is that they aren’t inclined to spend the day in the garden, help us give tours or cook burgers for our guests. Luckily, we’ve been able to inspire them to plant thousands of seeds, help Erick’s mom mend the fence and even run the bison through the handling system.

NJF: What do you do for childcare?

KD: Our gym membership includes a “Kids Night Out” that we use every month. We also have a couple local baby sitters, and Erick’s parents fill in whenever they can. (They also live on the farm.)

NJF: What do you like to do with the kids?

ED: We’re so lucky to be close to Round Valley Reservoir and Deer Path Park, where we take hikes, enjoy beach time, sled and walk on the frozen ice. We also have a family membership at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

In the winter, we spend evenings in the living room, playing games in front of the fire. We also take day trips to places like the State Museum in Trenton, the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton and the Kenneth Lockwood Trail in High Bridge.

NJF: What do you do for date night?

KD: Our favorite spots to visit lately have been The Stangl Factory in downtown Flemington, Circa Restaurant in High Bridge and Anton’s at the Swan in Lambertville. We also try to incorporate an activity into our date too. Sometimes it’s a movie. Other times it’s a concert. On one of our last dates, we hit up a tattoo parlor in Flemington.

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