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809 Brook Road; Bethlehem, NH 03574
Meadowstone Farm, Bethlehem NH
If traveling along Brook Road in Bethlehem New Hampshire, it would be wise to make a stop at Meadowstone Farm. A hay rake mounted upright is the landmark to look for. The rake guards a small bridge over a meandering stream trickling underneath.
Since they purchased the land 14 years ago, farm owners Tim and Jess Wennrich have been creating an environment of agriculture, education, and community. After the adventure-seeking educators settled down from traveling the world, they purchased over 200 acres of land. Tim started Meadowstone Farm and Jess founded Woodland Community School. The location, formerly an old New England cow dairy farm, was in tough shape, but the couple has worked hard to clear the land and reinvigorate the soil to be able to transform it back into a working farm. Vegetables are their chief crop but they also raise chickens for eggs and meat, and goats for goat cheese.
The couple hosts a small school and summer camp for kids to learn, play, and foster their own imaginations in an agricultural environment. Although the children of Woodland Community School do not participate directly in the farm chores, they still have access to explore the farm and property, providing a hands-on educational experience. The summer farm camp allows kids to engage directly with the farm by making cheese and performing daily chores such as pulling carrots and collecting eggs.
Practicality and resourcefulness are interwoven into the landscape of the farm. Discarded bathtubs and washing machines have been repurposed and are now used to wash and spin the large volumes of greens. Tumbled glass from the landfill is used as fill. Ash from the local power plants is used to balance the pH in the soil, and spent grain from the Woodstock brewery is fed to the large, robust swine as they lounge in their muddy pens. If something on the farm does not have at least three uses or lives it may not have a home there. Meadowstone Farm is a depiction of Yankee ingenuity at its finest.
Meadowstone Farm has chosen to drop their “certified organic” label after obtaining it in 2005. “On a national scale, the connotation of the term “certified” organic has shifted from the idea of small, community-based farms to large-scale industrial agriculture,” Tim says. “Customers are the ultimate “certifiers.” He believes that the original intent of the “certified” organic farming continues to be strong on New England farms. His particular farm focus remains on the inter-relationships between animal, plant, and soil nutrient cycles to form his own organic ideals. This combination creates products “superior in taste and nutrition”. He encourages community members to visit the farm, and ask questions about his farming practices to understand that the farm is “beyond organic”.
Tim and Jess stress the importance of community outreach. A portion of their harvest is donated to local food pantries and charities.
809 Brook Rd, Bethlehem, NH 03574
CSA spring and fall available http://www.meadowstonenh.com
Farm stand –Open every day, self-serve, 10:00am- 5:30pm (or within reasonable hours)
Farmers’ Markets: (During Grow Season)
• Plymouth 3-7 Thursdays
• Littleton 10-1 every Sunday across the foot bridge below Main Street and behind the Senior Center
• Lancaster 9-12 every Saturday on the town green.
The North Country Farmers COOP (Colebrook NH)
The Littleton COOP (Littleton NH)
The Healthy Rhino (Littleton NH)
Cold Mountain Café (Bethlehem, NH)
Maia Papaya (Bethlehem, NH)
Purple Tomato(Lincoln, NH)
Food for Large Functions available upon request (if supplies are plentiful)
Profile Writer Hannah Bolstridge is the Class of 2014, Plymouth State University
Support for this farm profile is courtesy of:
Plymouth State University’s Center for Rural Partnerships- fostering collaborative projects that promote community resilience, opportunity, and a high quality of life in rural New Hampshire.
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