Darius Frink Farm, Newington, NH
The 40 acre Darius Frink farm, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is protected from development by an agricultural conservation easement secured in 2005. The land, owned today by the fifth Frink generation, is farmed by John Frink, who raises Belted Galloway cattle. He is the great great grandson of the farm’s original owner Cyrus Frink.
Located in Newington, New Hampshire’s historic district, the farm has been continuously operated by the family since 1837. Young Cyrus Frink of Stonington, Connecticut was recruited to help build the first bridge across the Piscataqua River. Spanning the river from Durham’s Cedar Point to Fox Point in Newington, the bridge boasted the longest arch in the world when it opened in 1794. Cyrus Frink settled at Fox Point, fathered nine children, and became a prosperous farmer, builder and brickyard owner. In 1816 he bought the Peavey tavern and farm on Newington’s Nimble Hill Road, and later built a handsome brick farmhouse there for his fifth son, Darius. Sixth son Elias and his brothers followed Cyrus as overseers and eventually owners of the Piscataqua Bridge. Over the years, they reused bridge timbers and planks for other building purposes. The Darius Frink barn, built in 1837, incorporates ancient hand-hewn bridge timbers; old planks from the deck of the bridge were used as flooring in the haymow. The barn was rehabilitated after receiving grant funding from the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance in 2002.
Darius Frink purchased the 65 acre farm from his father Cyrus in 1843. Twenty years later, when the farm was larger than it is today, he held: 90 improved acres and 40 in woods, raising 80 bushels of corn, 40 of barley, 60 pounds of wool, and 200 bushels of potatoes. In 1880 he claimed 35 acres in tilled fields, 48 in meadow or orchard, and 50 acres of woods. With his hired hand he produced 20 tons of hay, 300 pounds of butter and 75 pounds of cheese from seven cows; 180 dozen eggs, 30 bushels of barley, 120 bushels of corn, two tons of straw, and 15 cords of wood. From the 130 trees in his two-acre orchard, he picked 200 bushels of apples. Fleeces from his thirteen sheep weighed 96 pounds.
Because he and his wife had no children, Darius willed his farm to his nephew also named Darius. For most of the twentieth century, it was the second of Darius’s sons, Harold Frink, who farmed, raising chickens and eggs, barrels of apples for the Boston market, and producing milk. Harold’s wife Lydia was a skilled beekeeper, selling honey and bee supplies and creating her soothing Beeswax Handcream.
Today, John Frink raises a half-dozen Belted Galloway cattle, often called the Oreo cookie cow with their striking white belt surrounded by black. Drivers and walkers passing by on Newington’s Little Bay Road often pause to admire them in the pastures eating green grass, or in the cowyard munching farm grown hay. Well suited to New Hampshire’s cold weather, they come into the old barn for an evening treat of grain.
Two-year-old cattle are butchered, processed into finished cuts at a USDA-inspected slaughterhouse, and sold frozen at the brick farmhouse. A sign on Nimble Hill Road advertises the farm’s products and phone number. Though John Frink works for the Newington Highway Department until mid-afternoon, most often a knock on the door on weekends or late in the day is all it takes to make a purchase. A message on the answering machine is best before stopping by.
As has been done through New Hampshire’s agricultural history, farms rely on more than one crop and the Darius Frink Farm is no exception. John Frink raises bees for honey and makes his Lydia’s Beeswax Handcream, named for his mother, without dyes or perfumes. He also sells first-cut and mulch hay by the bale, raises a free-range flock of chickens for eggs, and sells garden fresh red-ripe strawberries in early summer.
Renee Ciulla, The Kitchen Gardener, leases a quarter- acre to grow organic vegetables that are available through her CSA, and delivered to Portsmouth restaurants.
Darius Frink Farm
272 Nimble Hill Road
Newington, NH 03801
603-436-3763 Please call ahead.
Retail: (sales direct to the customer)
Farm raised beef
Hay by the bale or for mulching
Honey when available
Lydia’s Beeswax Handcream
Strawberries (early summer only)
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