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620 Center St. Wolfeboro, NH 03894
Bly Farm, Wolfeboro, NH
Visitors to farmstands occasionally follow up on-line with a remark about their shopping experience. One such comment about Bly Farm reads “It’s a kind of one of those hidden gems on the side of a country road. Pick up some corn or fresh veggies from the farm stand and grab an ice cream. ” The “hidden gem” feeling is what Vince and Cynthia Blandini hope to convey in Wolfeboro NH. “The farmstand is the size of a single stall garage and we try and make it very homey,” says Cynthia and then with a sheepish grin, adds “looks easy.” And then there is the most recent and highly successful addition of the ice cream stand. But more on that later.
The Bly Farm takes its name from Cynthia’s side of the family which has been farming since the early 1800s, just not always in the same location. Cynthia’s great grandfather was a farmer in Bradford, NH and Newbury, NH. Her grandfather, Thornton Bly and her Uncle, James Bly were dairy farmers in Concord NH (now homes). Cynthia’s father, Rufus Bly, left the family farm in Concord to attend college. Afterward he established his own construction business on six acres of land in Wolfeboro, where Cynthia was raised, and where she and Vince established today’s Bly Farm. “ We did not use the land as a farm when I was young, though as children we raised a variety of animals and I helped my mother can vegetables from our garden and make preserves,” she says.
In the mid 1950’s Cynthia’s father and mother, Elsie, built and operated – Bly’s Dari Curl – the first soft serve ice cream stand in the area. By the time Vince and Cynthia began farming on the property in 1976 , Bly’s Dari Curl had been sold, and although farming was the focal point of their business, Vince always had in the back of his mind to re-establish the ice cream stand. He designed and had built today’s ice cream stand adjacent to the farmstand. Today the farm offers as many as 44 flavors of Bobby Sue’s Homemade ice cream, made in Freedom, NH, as well as soft serve ice cream.
The heart of the business has always been farming. Vince continues to grow a large selection of annuals, hardy perennials, herbs, hanging baskets, starter plants, fruits, and seasonal vegetables. There are locally made jams, jellies, preserves, maple syrup, and honey. Also offered at the farm stand are Cynthia’s home baked pies, homemade chocolate chip cookies, and, most recently from Cynthia’s kitchen, blueberry muffins made with their own fresh picked blueberries.
“With Vince’s eye always toward innovation,” according to Cynthia. He recently began growing day neutral strawberries. They are planted in the Spring for picking in the Fall when customers have a last minute hankering for a fresh berry before Winter sets in. Their customers are local residents and “permanent summer residents and during the tourist season,” says Cynthia, “we are fortunate to have visitors stop at the farm from all over the world – it’s always a pleasure to see them.”
During the winter the Blandini’s live in North Andover, MA on one acre of land where in three greenhouses they start their vegetables and flowers in trays from seed or cuttings. In May the trays are transported 1 ½ hours to their Wolfeboro farm. These plants are both sold in the retail farm stand and re-planted in the field. Drip irrigation from two wells provides necessary water. This along with laying black plastic mulch provides an early harvest. At the farm, Vince constructed an additional three high tunnels which are planted with tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers and strawberries. As with so many New Hampshire farms, all of the Bly Farm tunnels have been purchased from Ed Person’s Ledgewood Farm Greenhouses in Moultonborough, NH.
The seasonal employees include family members, college, and high school students. ” We have been very fortunate to have responsible young adults, many of whom stay with us through college,” says retired middle school English teacher Vince. “I enjoy working with them. They have a good work ethic.” “But you do have to set an example, “Cynthia cautions. And there is no doubt this hard working couple do exactly that. And “Yes,” adds Vince, “we have been very fortunate. Farming has been a wonderful experience for Cynthia and me, my two sons growing up, their families including six grandchildren.”
Vincent and Cynthia Blandini
620 Center St.
Wolfeboro, NH 03894
May- Mid -Oct (9am-5pm)
Ice Cream Stand :
Spring – noon-6PM
Summer – 11AM-10PM
Fall – noon – 6PM
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