Peaked Moon Farm, Piermont, NH
Peaked Moon Farm, spanning both sides of Route 25 in Piermont, offers a little bit of everything. With 300 acres of fields, pasture, and forest, the farm has dairy cows, pigs, laying hens and broilers, artisan cheese, and myriad vegetables. And with a lease-to-purchase agreement in place for a neighboring 200-acre parcel along Route 10 in Orford (formerly known as the Bunten Farm), the farming future looks to be busy for Hal Covert and Rebecca Golding.
Hal was bitten by the farming bug as a youngster, when his family moved to Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, from Worcester, Massachusetts. “The first friends I found were dairy farmers,” he says, and he’s been milking cows pretty much ever since. After attending the University of New Hampshire, he came back to the Mont Vernon/Milford area, where he went to work for a dairy farmer, toiling 80 to 90 hours a week for about $200. “I figured if I was going to do that, I may as well be doing it for myself,” he says.
After a couple of different dairy farming ventures, including a move to Piermont in 1993, Hal purchased the Underhill Farm, which he renamed Peaked Moon Farm in honor of nearby Peaked Mountain. That was in 2009, and with the new farm, Hal “started trying to figure out a way other than milking cows to make a living.” For a while he focused on growing vegetables, hawking his produce at farmers’ markets. He couldn’t quite kick the dairy farming habit, however, and soon built a barn and began milking cows once more. He also continued vegetable farming, opening the farmstand at Peaked Moon Farm in 2011, and things have sort of exploded since then.
That’s largely due to the energy of Rebecca Golding. Rebecca came to work at Peaked Moon Farm early in 2012 as cook and baker for the farmstand. She has since taken on much more responsibility at the farm and will co-own the new 200-acre parcel with Hal. “I’ve fallen in love with farming,” says Rebecca, a native of Ascutney, Vermont. “I’ll still cook and bake, but farming is what I ultimately want to do.”
With their acquisition last winter of the Bunten Farm—which came with a cheese room—Rebecca and Hal have added artisan cheese to Peaked Moon Farm’s offerings. They have more than 80 milking cows between the two properties, plus six beef cows, 15 pigs, 100 laying hens, 700 broilers through the course of the year, 25 turkeys, and eight lambs. And they grow everything from greens to pumpkins.
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. Unlike the Connecticut River Valley, where farm runs into farm, there are no farms in Lincoln, and Peaked Moon has found a happy niche there, catering to locals, vacation home owners, and visitors. The farm also participates in the Plymouth and Hanover farmers markets.
“When someone visits us at the farm, in Lincoln, or at a farmers’ market, they really get everything they could want,” says Hal. “We have vegetables, meat, eggs, cheese, yogurt. It’s like a little grocery store.”
In the kitchens at both the Piermont and Lincoln locations, Rebecca bakes breads, cookies, scones, muffins, and more delectable treats. On Fridays through the summer she creates farm dinners and homemade pizza using whatever produce is on hand. While the Piermont farmstand closes for the cold-weather months, the one in Lincoln closes in October and reopens during the winter months, stocked with Golding’s fresh-baked goods.
“It’s so rewarding to bring something from seed and make it into a finished product,” says Rebecca. “This is the only work I’ll ever want to do.”
Hal Covert and Rebecca Golding
99 Route 25
Piermont, NH 03779
Peaked Moon Farmstand, Piermont, NH (spring through mid-October)
Lincoln Farm Market, Lincoln, NH (spring through mid-October, winter)
Plymouth Farmers Market (summer)
Hanover Farmers Market (summer)
Meat and vegetables to local restaurants
Milk to local dairy distributor
Meghan McCarthy McPhaul is an author and former newspaper reporter. She pens a regular column for the Littleton Record, as well as web copy and press releases for various businesses and her writing has also appeared in several regional and national publications, including Powder, Northern Woodlands, Forest Notes, and the Journal of the New England Ski Museum.
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