New Hampshire Strafford County (Rochester/Dover/Durham/Portsmouth Region)
Diversification is a key word in the vocabulary of the Wilson family, and diversify they have! Pick-your-own blueberries, apples, pumpkins, and occasionally peaches are available in season. Sweet breads, many featuring the farm’s own fruit, are baked right on the farm in a commercial kitchen. No matter the season, homemade apple cider donuts are always a favorite with the crowds.
This was a relatively young fruit farm when Giff Burnap and his wife, Mae, purchased it in 2005. The previous owners of the former dairy farm began to implement the “pick your own” fruit model in the late 1980s. Since acquiring the farm, the Burnaps have almost doubled its size and have also added cherries to their extensive list of produce.
Tina and her husband, Erick, established the farm about 30 years ago, with the name originating from a dog kennel that Erick’s father once owned. Little did they know that the purchase of a herd of Angus cattle from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) would provide the foundation for Pinewoods Yankee Farm.
The winding roads of Madbury hold a special gem, Old Orchard Farm, named for a small overgrown orchard that was discovered in the woods. It doesn’t take long to figure out that Gray & Kitty Cornwell care a great deal about the farmland of which they are the stewards. As they state in their 2015 turkey brochure, “We treat our farm as a precious, irreplaceable resource and follow sustainable farming practices to ensure our crop land will be productive for future generations.”
“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.