How We Started
Karl worked for years in his family's garden center, Chestnut Hill Farm in Stafford, which was started in 1972 by Karl’s parents Bill and Jeanne Milikowski. After the passing of Karl’s parents, Chestnut Hill Farm was closed and the property was sold. Karl worked in horticulture over next few years while he and his wife, Kim, searched for just the right time and place to open another garden shop of their own. Kim, founder and president of Express Wireless, Inc., operated a group of retail wireless stores from 1989 through 2016.
The couple started keeping miniature donkeys in 2008. They initially kept only 2 as pets at their former house while they searched for a property where they could have greenhouses and develop a breeding program for the mini donkeys. After looking for years at many properties that were not suitable Karl and Kim drove by a beautiful hay field on perfect country road in Stafford. The only glitch was that it wasn't for sale. Karl, unknown to Kim, went to the town hall, found out who owned it and called him. John Greene agreed to meet with them and loved what they wanted to do. After 200 years in his family, John agreed to sell the farm land to them which was unbelievable.
The property was purchased in 2008. Over the next year a reproduction cape and barns were built in keeping with the historic character of the homes on Stafford Street. Foster Hill Farm was up and running at last, named for the Foster family who owned and farmed it for 2 centuries.
The donkey breeding program was under way and in 2015 the garden shop opened. Karl and Kim now work full time on the farm. Karl heads up the greenhouse production, growing impressive hangers, geraniums, mums and annuals that he and his family were known for in the past. Kim grows over 100 varieties of heirloom tomato plants and specialty and hot pepper plants as well as a large selection of common and hard to find herbs. The shop and farm are open seasonally in the Spring and Fall.