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75 Fremont Road, Chester, NH
Back 40 Acre Farm, Chester, NH
Fresh, natural, and local are only a few of many words to describe the quality of the products available at Back 40 Acre Farm.
Bill Ahie is the “chief cook and bottle washer” and proud of it. His attention to detail is paramount, and he sees to the daily order of tasks that call on him from all around the farm. He is on the go 24/7 with many projects on the “to do” list. This former Army Veteran from the Vietnam era and canine police officer for many years continues to be on a mission. The farm is his mission, and nothing is overlooked. The amount of American flags he proudly displays evokes pride in country, with the farm as a viable American way of life. It is his quest to do whatever it takes to keep it going.
Bill has owned the circa 1721 home for 20 years. The charm of past generations are evident throughout the interior of the house as heirlooms from family members have been added to keep the house enveloped with a rustic country feel. The front porch added by Bill fits with the architectural style of the house. It sits facing Fremont Road with most of the Back 40 Acre Farm situated behind the house. Approximately 40 acres are now under a conservation trust through the town of Chester. Five additional acres are designated for the working farm.
The key product line of the farm is the bounty of birds and animals. From chickens for their eggs, to turkeys, hogs, and beef cattle, Bill is proud to ensure everything meets his approval before being offered for sale. No preservatives, growth hormones, or artificial additives are used. The animals benefit immensely by this attention to their well-being and also from the clean water that is available from two deep wells. Being fed grain and vegetables keeps the hogs happy. The Angus and Hereford cattle are free to roam in an enclosed outdoor pasture. The turkeys and chickens are housed at night to keep them safe from nighttime predators. Back 40 Acre Farm delivers their birds and animals to Lemay & Sons Beef, a top quality New Hampshire farm animal processing center located in Goffstown. They are a USDA federally inspected processing facility in business for over 50 years. They customize the meat for each client, and what Back 40 Acre Farm offers is an extensive selection of choice cuts.
Brick walkways meticulously set in place provide a pathway to the farm store which is only steps from the house. It was once a milking shed, and the country charm is in the quaintness of the decorative items set up around the front that beckon you to open the screen door and step inside.
Patrice is the farm and gift shop manager. In the gift shop she puts a decorative spin on the exclusive novelties and antiques in its arrangement within the store. There is a wide variety of handmade crafts available such as soaps, jams, jellies, beef jerky, maple syrup, and candles – all locally made. Back 40 Acre Farm offers seasonal vegetables. Their dill pickles are a sought after item throughout the summer. Bill’s grandmother’s portrait graces the label on the jars of her secret applesauce recipe. Local honey fills up the space on one display rack, and the farm offers homemade locally baked pies. It just doesn’t get any better! A small shed is in place near the road to serve as a pay-by-the-honor-system farmstand for some of their products. Bill keeps his weekend high school student farmhand busy, as the farm also sells firewood and compost.
A cider press is waiting in the press room of the barn for summers’ bounty of apples and the fall season to begin. There is a smoker for beef ribs, a pretzel machine, and a popcorn machine. These may all figure in to a theme-of-the-month where one food item is highlighted and families can stop by and see it all in action.
Word of mouth is his best form of advertising. One stop says it all.
Bill worked for years haying for Hank Peterson, the recently deceased owner and operator of Peterson’s Sugarhouse in Londonderry. He was wearing one of Hank’s sweatshirts when I visited with him. We both shared stories about this old salt. The other connection with Londonderry is that he feeds his pigs the best-ever organic yogurt on the planet (in my opinion) from Stonyfield Yogurt.
Back 40 Acre Farm
75 Fremont Road, Chester, NH
Open 7 days a week, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Back 40 Acre Farm is a proud member of NH Made.
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