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65 Pickard Rd. Canterbury, NH 03224

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Home » Canterbury, Farm Profiles, Merrimack County (Concord/New London Region)

Someday Farm, Canterbury, NH

By Helen Brody

The farm was in shambles but its bones were strong; the site sang to Dean and Barbie Tilton and, adding to the allure, it was in Barbie’s hometown of Canterbury, New Hampshire. So in 1993, they embarked on the long journey of lovingly restoring and rebuilding a derelict small farm and to own something they had always wanted. The “somedays” began flooding their discussions. Someday they would have a new foundation; someday they would have a new kitchen; someday they might even have a new barn. In the midst of their someday visions, and sometimes discouraging their dreams, were their off-the-farms jobs. Barbie works remotely from home in disaster recovery planning for the Wellpoint Company and Dean has a busy business as stonecutter. In the end, there were so many somedays, that the name of their farm, when it became a reality, had been unmistakably established; Someday Farm. Today, 20 years later,” says Barbie “the place is totally remodeled and considered complete!”  They have further populated their spread with animals, built a retail store in their barn, hold seminars to teach future alpaca owners the critical aspects of raising alpacas from the caring and breeding to the shearing, skirting, washing, drying, carding and spinning of the fiber. As of winter 2012 they had 51 alpacas, Nigerian Dwarf Goats, guinea hens, some chickens for their own eggs, Flemish Giant rabbits and a turkey named Tom who thinks he is an alpaca – all on 11 acres of land.

Their first order of business and greatest enjoyment comes from their herd of alpacas, “their huggable investment,” as Barbie calls them.  She and Dean delight in  raising these long necked, long legged, brown eyed animals because of their “loveable personalities” and for the ease in converting their coats to a usable wool.  Another inducement for raising alpacas is the tax break the government gives to growers of alpaca in its effort to encourage the development of a U.S commercial fiber industry. Imports of alpaca animals is not permitted so the industry’s growth must come from within the borders of the U.S. itself.

Judges look for quality of fiber, fleeces, confirmation of body and performance.  Ribbons hang from the barn rafters as evidence of their competitive successes.  Breeding prize winning animals with good personality is what the couple strives for.  Barbie trains them to be with people. She knows them all by name and they go “anywhere with us.” Nursing homes welcome a visit from these soft, unusually gentle and peaceful animals

At the farm, they process about 10 fleeces from raw fiber through to the end products, including some dying of certain fleeces and yarns. The remainder  of the fleeces get sent off to a mill for processing into roving and comes back  to the farm to be processed into yarn which can be bought at their farm store and other locations (see below). Alpaca hats, mittens, gloves and scarves in a variety of colors are available in their farm store.  And with a recently opened kitchen, they have expanded to jams and jellies, oils, and other edibles.

How does this couple, with full time jobs relax? “At dusk,”   says Barbie, “we sit out on the porch and watching these gentle peaceful animals silently roam the pastures that we have spent years clearing.”

Someday Farm
Barbie and Dean Tilton
65 Pickard Rd.
Canterbury, NH 03224

Retail: (Direct to the customer)

Farm store
Canterbury farmers’ market
Mail order.

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Published on: November 27, 2012 Last modified on: May 11, 2016

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