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Beech Hill Farm & Ice Cream Barn, Contoocook, NH

For eighteen years Beech Hill Ice Cream Barn has been a magnet for both area residents and tourists who want to purchase NH made goods, plants and unique garden decorations, farm-raised meats, and ice cream. Nine generations of the Kimball family have worked the land at Beech Hill Farm which was originally granted to Aaron Kimball by the King of England in 1771. On Memorial Day 2015, as they sat on a glider shaded by a 200 year old shag bark hickory in front of the 1800 farmhouse, Donna and Bob Kimball spoke of their five decades of life at Beech Hill. Donna grew up in Milford, NH. Bob’s home was always Beech Hill Farm. Because Donna’s grandparents had been farmers, Donna’s family had a membership in the Grange which offered opportunities for farm families to socialize. At a “Youth Night” social, Bob spotted a pretty girl in a green dress ...

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Bunten Farm & Pantry Farmstore, Orford, NH

Please see update on Bunten Farm from Valley News article by Nora Doyle-Burr: Old Orford Farm Begins New Era In 1956, Forrest Bunten learned of a farm for sale while reading the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture’s “Weekly Market Bulletin.” Without missing a beat, he drove immediately from Concord to Orford,  met a realtor, looked around the outside of the farmhouse, and decided it was big enough for the family of five children and one more to come. Then he walked the fields and that was it. “I’ll buy it,” he said, moved his wife Evelyn and  children, and began raising Holsteins. Milk was a volatile market for raising a family so growing pumpkins in the Fall became what he called his “cash crop” and he became  known as the “Pumpkin Man at the Pumpkin Plaza.” For 47 years he enjoyed seeing customers come back to pick out pumpkins, gourds, squash and ...

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The Visionaries of Windhover Farm

Martin Marklin and his wife Christine came to Contoocook in 1999 to manufacture unique and beautiful candles for churches, a specialized skill Martin developed over many years. Their flourishing business currently uses about 30,000 pounds of beeswax annually. The production of unique liturgical beeswax candles remains a critical component of the Marklins’ Contoocook enterprise, but sustainable farming practices on their growing farm now play featured roles in their business plan. The name of their farm, Windhover (“falcon”) Farm, is taken from a poem which describes the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins’ and the Marklins’ deep respect for the workings of the natural world. Bees have provided a critical component of the Marklins’ livelihood and they now provide a fascinating focus for one of Martin’s enterprises: beekeeping. Currently, Martin maintains about one hundred hives at Windhover, the 8 ½ acre homestead surrounding his factory which is located minutes from the center of Contoocook. ...

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Riverview Farm, Plainfield, NH

Sitting on the Franklins’ porch in late spring, it was obvious where Riverview Farm’s name comes from, but that wasn’t always so.  When Nancy and Paul Franklin bought the property and moved there from Meriden New Hampshire in 1981, it was so overgrown that they couldn’t even see the river.  As he brought their first UPS delivery, the driver told them, “I didn’t even know there was a house here!”  Although previously a farm, most of the land had not been maintained in recent years and it took a great deal of work to become the diversified operation that it is today. Now the 44-acre farm is home to hundreds of blueberry, fall raspberry and currant bushes, apple trees, pumpkins, corn and cut-your-own flowers.  A picnic area and barn store, with products from their own and neighboring farms, add to the visitor’s experience.  The family’s friendly dogs may greet you.  And ...

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Falling Tree Farm, Meriden, NH

If you asked Sarah Governo 20 years ago if her future held owning a farm and living in rural Meriden a town within Plainfield, New Hampshire, she would have given you a puzzled look with a likely “no.” Born and raised in London, she has learned a lot about farming and community while beginning a small sheep and egg farm. She likes to call herself an “accidental egg and sheep farmer.” Due to her husband Mark’s job transfer and a desire to raise their family in a strong local community, the couple moved to Meriden to raise their two children, Jake and Lars. When they arrived at their property on Croydon Turnpike all they could see were poplar trees on a 15 acre plot of land. Sustainability and community had always been an important part of the family’s life.   “We’ve always had at least one solar panel on our home, even ...

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Sheila Fabrizio, Windy Ridge Orchard, North Haverhill, NH
June 25, 2015

Sheila Fabrizio, Windy Ridge Orchard, North Haverhill, NH

Sheila Fabrizio grew up happily immersed in the agricultural life. Her father worked for the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, both parents ran the family’s Windy Ridge Orchard outside their career jobs, and all five Fabrizio kids were involved in 4-H. But it was her journey to a far-away country that made her realize she wanted to come home to the orchard life.

“I certainly didn’t go off to college thinking I would have a career in agriculture,” says Sheila. “Probably the seed was planted when I was a kid, but it was really when I was in the Peace Corps in Senegal that I realized this is where I wanted to be.”

Bunten Farm & Pantry Farmstore, Orford, NH
April 7, 2015
Bunten Farm & Pantry Farmstore, Orford, NH

In 1956, Forrest Bunten learned of a farm for sale while reading the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture’s “Weekly Market Bulletin.” Without missing a beat, he drove immediately from Concord to Orford, met a realtor, looked around the outside of the farmhouse, and decided it was big enough for the family of five children and one more to come.

LaValley Farms, Suncook, NH
March 28, 2015
LaValley Farms, Suncook, NH

Chris and Danielle LaValley worked on Blake Farms in Pembroke as teenagers. In 2006, they purchased the property – it was then that reality struck; there is a difference between working on a farm and owning a farm. Where to begin? Chris took on the responsibility of learning the science and methodology of farming so he could manage the fields. Danielle, began as cashier. As demand for their fresh products increased, she became the bookkeeper and manager for their retail farmstands in Hooksett and Manchester. Today the LaValleys in addition to the original farmland in Pembroke, but also farm in Allenstown and Hooksett to provide enough product for their increasing number of retail customers.

Tuckaway Farm, Lee, NH
January 15, 2015
Tuckaway Farm, Lee, NH

“When it comes to agriculture in NH, we are like an underdeveloped country.” So says Dorn Cox who is currently making a concerted effort to push farming squarely into the 21st century by building what he refers to as a “biological system” for his farm; it is a most singular system and very much a family enterprise. By successfully integrating the disciplines of plant biology and environmental engineering, Dorn is working to tighten the carbon cycle while also reducing production costs, and limiting off farm purchases which will make the farm more self sufficient.

Kearsage Gore Farm, Warner, NH
December 19, 2014
Kearsage Gore Farm, Warner, NH

Bob Bower and Jennifer Ohler own and maintain Kearsarge Gore Farm in Warner, New Hampshire with the help of their children, Sam, and Abby. The farm’s name originates from its location in a gore – a thin triangular piece of land – between two towns. The family bought the farm in 1981.

The farm occupies 477 acres of land on one side of Kearsarge Mountain. Seven acres are used to grow certified organic produce, 20 acres are in pasture, and 450 acres are woodland. Kearsarge Gore earned organic certification in 1988 and was one of the first certified organic farms in the area

Muster Field Farm, North Sutton, NH
December 13, 2014
Muster Field Farm, North Sutton, NH

The wonderful Muster Field Farm is a farm that has a lot of historical value in the tiny town of Sutton, New Hampshire. The farm was founded as the Harvey Homestead in 1772 by Matthew Harvey. The original house that was built had burnt down in 1787. The current house that is on the property was built shortly after, but has expanded since it was built. The new house was used as a tavern for the locals to drink at, the first post office and first library in Sutton, and a home for the descendants of the Harveys. In total, eight generations of Harvey descendants lived on the farm and added to it.

Greenhill Collective Farm, Sutton, NH
December 10, 2014
Greenhill Collective Farm, Sutton, NH

Greenhill Collective, located in Sutton, New Hampshire, is a small, off the grid, certified organic farm owned and operated by Ben Dubrowski and his family. The “Collective” part of the farm name is related to the vision of eventually renting out small portions of the farm to people that want to farm but don’t have the land to. They specialize in the