Fresh, natural, and local are only a few of many words to describe the quality of the products available at Back 40 Acre Farm. Bill Ahie is the “chief cook and bottle washer” and proud of it. His attention to detail is paramount, and he sees to the daily order of tasks that call on him from all around the farm. He is on the go 24/7 with many projects on the “to do” list. This former Army Veteran from the Vietnam era and canine police officer for many years continues to be on a mission. The farm is his mission, and nothing is overlooked.
One of the staples at Robie Farm is their raw milk. This milk has three very important purposes. It is used for their cheeses, which are made on site, and it is also sold and used to feed calves. As of 2016, they have about 20 dairy cows that are milked daily. Lee milks the cows two days a week, while Mark milks them the rest of the week. Each of their cows has a name, and they keep track of lineage by naming each calf using the first letter of the mother’s name.
Approximately 35 – 40 of the 80 acres that belong to Barker’s Farm is under production with a variety of produce and flowers. The fields are surrounded by wooded areas that also connect to conservation land and town parks such as Stratham Hill Park. Edie’s passion for the area and cultivation of healthy produce is evident in her tone as she describes how the land is cared for.
Ross feeds the fish a vegetarian diet of organic grain. The water flows from the fish tanks into a
biological filter filled with small plastic balls with spiked protrusions where the ammonia in the
waste produced by the fish is converted by beneficial bacteria first into nitrites then nitrates
which is what the plants thrive on.
While it was Sel’s name on the potato bags, much of the driving force behind the farm came from his wife, Paulie, who ran a good portion of the farm show, mostly from behind the scenes. And it was their daughter Joan who managed the farm for a decade after Sel’s death, before selling it in 2002 and retiring to her gardens at the family home on a hill above Ski Hearth Farm.
Phil and Donna are excited about the expansion of their line of meat products as they like having a range – beef, pork, chicken, and turkey. “I don’t think we’ll go into rabbits,” Donna says, with a laugh, “but there’s definitely a call for lamb, which appeals to me because it was historically part of the farm.” The couple is always weighing questions about the future against the farm’s past.
In the summer of 2015, Inheritance Farm hosted the 3rd Annual New Hampshire Permaculture Day, an event previously held at D Acres of New Hampshire. This event included tours and forty classes, and the theme was “Emerging Permaculture.” Their classes included how to establish a permaculture farm, how to make rocket mass heaters, how to gather wild edibles, and how to make a bench by hand. They invited guests to share their knowledge about permaculture for some of the classes.
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