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Home » Cheshire County (Keene/Walpole Region), Farm Profiles, Winchester

Manning Hill Farm, Winchester, NH

By Helen Brody

With the purchase of an 1874 farm house and 126 acres of land in 2005, Sarah Costa and Sam Canonica  became a welcome addition to New Hampshire’s hardworking first generation farmers.”Sure,” says Sarah from her Winchester farm, “sometimes I feel sorry for myself, having to bundle up to go to the barn at zero degrees in the dark, but once I get there, working with the cows and watching the sun come up over the mountains while the birds chirp, I think, it does not get much better than this!”

The couple early on decided that their primary focus would be to produce good quality milk. It was a big decision to start milking cows from scratch, particularly in the current economy. To set themselves apart from the rest of the dairy industry, they decided on milking and breeding the rarely seen heritage Dutch Belted dairy cows (not to be confused with Belted Galloway beef cattle). Dutch Belted are known for producing premium quality naturally homogenized milk.  With only 200 registered in the U.S, the breed also offered the couple the opportunity to begin  a breeding up program and  make a contribution to farm animal preservation.

As important as their work in breeding is, the unusual quality and rich character of their grass fed milk is what they found most enticing. Commercially homogenized milk is a mechanical and heated process that reduces flavor by making the fat globules very small.  “The globules in our milk are naturally small without being mechanically homogenized. You would be surprised at how long it takes for the cream to rise to the top of the bottle and when it must be shaken to be redistributed,” says Sarah.  Because of the numerous unique qualities of their milk, they decided to pasteurize and bottle their own with the freedom to distribute it to local NH stores, markets and customers. “Earth friendly glass milk bottles represent not only our concern for the environment but best preserves the flavor of our product,” says Sarah.

The processing takes place daily in a converted stone garage that is now a federally inspected facility.  The couple milk the cows twice a day and according to Sam, “Unlike commercially pasteurized milk, ours is gently pasteurized in small batches at 145 degrees for 30 minutes and then quickly cooled  down to below 45 degrees before bottling.  Low temperature pasteurization leads to preserving as many nutrients as possible without having any health risks attached.” The couple also make a chocolate milk that is free of high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.

While Sam delivers milk in the early morning to stores and restaurants in the Monadnock area (see www.manninghillfarm.com for the list and milk is also always available at the farm), Sarah begins her day of farm work milking the cows and caring for the calves. Later when Sam returns, they tend to their pastured beef cattle, pigs, and chickens (meat and laying). In the summer months, they produce and harvest all of the forage for their herd and also sell square and round bales to other local farm owners.

Manning Hill Farm, LLC
Sarah Costa
Sam Canonica
79 Old Manning Road
Winchester, NH 03470
Farm phone number: 603-239-4397                                                                                  
www.manninghillfarm.com
Retail : Farmstand: milk and eggs on honor system (24hours a day year
around)
Farmstand: (seasonal, check website for hours):
grass fed beef, pastured pork, chickens,eggs & other
locally produced products

Hay: First and second cut square bales and round bales
(also do custom baling)

Farmers Markets: Keene: winter and summer

Wholesale: milk – see website for local store listings and see below:

RESTAURANTS USING MANNING HILL FARM MILK:

 (Manning Hill Farm is Monadnock Region’s only pasteurized local milk source)

 Keene, NH
Elm City Brewing Company
Prime Roast Coffee Company
Keene Fresh Salad Company
Troy, NH-
The Inn at East Hill Farm
 Fitzwilliam, NH-
The Fitzwilliam Inn/Cheshire Tavern

AND SOLD IN THE FOLLOWING STORES:

Monday Delivery
Keene, NH
Hannaford Supermarket
Beaver Street Market
Hannah Grimes Marketplace
Westmoreland, NH
Westmoreland Village Store -Our Eggs too!
Friday Delivery
Keene, NH
Hannaford Supermarket
Peterborough, NH
Nature’s Green Grocer
Roy’s Market
Jaffrey, NH
Coll’s Farm Stand
Dublin, NH
Dublin General Store
Harrisville, NH
Harrisville General Store
Hancock, NH/strong>
Hancock Market

Fitzwilliam, NH
Fitzwilliam Depot General Store
Rindge, NH
Hannaford Supermarket
Winchester, NH
Right on our farm, Manning Hill Farm!

Picadilly Farm (during their CSA season)

Northfield, MA

Mim’s Market

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Published on: March 29, 2012 Last modified on: May 12, 2016


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