Gert was born in Hamsud, Quebec in 1927. Her parents sold their farm in Quebec and came to Vermont in 1930 to look for a farm to buy. They settled on one in Wolcott, but things did not go well. Their father came down with double pneumonia and the doctor left him for dead. While he miraculously survived this illness, he lost the farm and had to move in with his brother for a year and a half, to recover both his health and finances enough to return to farming. In 1943 he bought a 140 acre farm in Morristown. At this time Gert was teaching, while her father and brother, Lawrence, ran the farm. Her sister Jeannette was flying with Pan Am as a stewardess, and another sister, Therese joined the Navy and then worked for Senator George Aiken. All were drawn back to the farm to work during vacations. In 1952 Gert returned fulltime to help her father and brother, and eventually bought the farm. Jeannette and Therese came home in the sixties to help out and over the years they added land and built up a prize herd of Jersey cows. In 1994 Gert sold the development rights to the Vermont Land Trust and in 1996 the three sisters retired from farming and sold their herd of Jerseys. They rented out their barn, but shortly after suffered a devastating fire in 1997. This was rebuilt in 1998 and while the sisters no longer tend to everyday chores they still maintain a keen interest and lend a helping hand to the tenant farmer who now works their land.
Gert reflects on her passion for farming.
Gert relates an incident that bears witness to her mother’s belief in the power of prayer.