Surrounded by a tangled network of farms in the Connecticut River Valley, Rebecca and Hal have reached a bit further afield to sell their meat, cheese, produce, and baked goods. In the summer of 2012, Peaked Moon Farm opened a satellite farmstand in Lincoln, New Hampshire, which has a year-round tourism-based economy.
To help pay for college, Brian Farmer made extra money flipping buffalo burgers for his cousin at fair concession stands. Needing extra help, he hired a very attractive college pal who happened to be a co-ed name Keira and a year later they were married. After graduating from college they followed their respective career paths, Brian in engineering and Keira, marketing. Forever etched in their taste buds, however, was the flavor of those buffalo burgers.
Expect a warm welcome when you drive into the Haynes family Crazy H farmstead in Claremont, NH. There’s an enthusiastic greeting committee composed of Stella the pot-bellied pig and her wiggly brood, two happy Labrador retrievers, Zuzu, the Dachshund, and assorted terriers. In the surrounding barns and fields, many more delightful characters wait to make your acquaintance, but none more delightful than the young lady farmer of the Crazy H.
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.”
At Windy Ridge Orchard in North Haverhill, farming is truly a family affair. Dick and Ann Fabrizio purchased the farm in 1967 and transformed it from a small dairy operation to an apple orchard, which has grown considerably in size and scope over the past five decades. The Fabrizios had off the farm jobs while building the orchard and raising their five children. Today as retirees, Dick and Ann run Windy Ridge full-time.
Many a driver has slowed the car while passing the quaint Tarrnation Flower Farm in Sugar Hill, mesmerized by the immaculate layout and precise beauty of the landscape. An old oak tree towers over the red barn, neat rows of perennials curve away from the quiet road, perfectly shaped crab apple trees border the lawn, annuals grow in straight lines alongside vegetables, and the stone pathway to the small house at the farm is interspersed with bright pansies.
The Rocks Estate in Bethlehem is pushing the “Buy Local” movement beyond the traditional farm fare of vegetables, meat, and dairy. The main crop at The Rocks is Christmas trees, which are both locally grown and farm fresh, but The Rocks also provides agri- and eco-tourism opportunities, along with year-round educational programs in its capacity as the North Country Conservation and Education Center for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.
“People really want to learn about rural things now and local agriculture,” says Nigel Manley, the farm’s manager.
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Interactive Map of Featured Farms
View a map of the farms featured on the New Hampshire Farms Network website.