Heritage Valley is located on 80 acres of preserved farmland at Totten Family Farm on the top of the Schooley Mountain range in Long Valley, NJ. The Totten Family Farm is owned by Dr. James Cheron Totten and his wife Dr. Daria Klachko-Totten. Dr. James Cheron Totten, a well known, board certified foot and ankle surgeon of Newark New Jersey, became interested in farming at a very young age when he visited his grandfathers farm in Bergen County. His wonderful memories from his childhood, coupled with a true interest and passion for organic and sustainable farming ignited his dream to search for a farm in New Jersey . In August of 2002, he purchased a beautiful 80 acre preserved farm in the Schooley's Mountain section of Long Valley, hence known as the Totten Family Farm. His wife, Dr.Daria klachko-Totten, a board certified Obstetrician / Gynecologist in Livingston New Jersey, shares her husbands love of nature and farming. She values the importance of healthy living and how nutrition plays a huge role in our health. She believes that our diets have a huge impact on our energy levels and well being. Local, naturally grown food is a large part of healthy living . Drs. Jim and Daria currently reside in Morris County with their twin daughters, Adriana and Natalie. "The Totten Twins" have grown up using the farm as their playground, running through fields, exploring nature and helping raise the animals. They have developed a true love of nature and animals which they enjoy sharing with their friends and classmates.
The Tottens have devoted the past eleven years of their time, energy and love converting this conventional farm to a naturally grown family farm using organic principals and methods. Dr. Jim has spent countless hours plowing the fields, composting, planting cover crops, fencing the pastures, improving the building infrastructure, digging irrigation systems and maintaining and improving the tilth and organic matter of the soils. Dr. Jim considers himself as a " grass farmer" helping to maintain and enhance the soils of the farm through rotational grazing methods and strict pasture management. He is also determined and dedicated on helping preserve for future generations the heritage farm breeds, such as the large black hogs, as well as the beautiful grass fed Belted Galloway cattle.
Daria often jokes that many men spend their free time out with the boys or playing golf , but Jim prefers his time driving the John Deere tractor! Their vision has always been to create a place where " beyond organic" heirloom vegetables and heritage meats are raised in a responsible, natural and sustainable fashion. Both having medical backgrounds, they certainly understand the importance of a healthy, nutritional diet and want to pass this type of lifestyle not only to their children but to the community as well. Since 2002, the farm has seen many changes, from naturally grown root crops with produce being sold to various local restaurants; to naturally grown Heirloom vegetables and heritage livestock providing food to local farmer markets and CSA.
Through the years , the infrastructure was slowly getting more developed and the land was getting healthier. Dr. Jim takes great pride and honor slowly transforming the old conventional farm to where it is today. The vision of the Totten Family Farm has always remained clear and consistent. In 2013, the Tottens joined forces with Steve Maclean and Ron Moule , experienced farmers who shared similar visions for the farm. The Tottens could not be more delighted with the progress the farm has made since their initial union. "We are so proud of how Steve and Ron are taking care of the land and the animals. They are farming in such a responsible sustainable manner, dedicated to the heritage breeds and are exemplary stewards of the land." said Dr. Jim Totten.
All parties are looking forward to an amazing future for Heritage Valley at the Totten Family Farm.