With the purchase of an 1874 farm house and 126 acres of land in 2005, Sarah and Sam became a welcome addition to New Hampshire’s hardworking first generation farmers. The couple decided that their primary focus would be to produce good quality milk. It was a big decision to start milking cows from scratch. To set themselves apart from the rest of the dairy industry, they decided on milking and breeding the rarely seen heritage Dutch Belted dairy cows (not to be confused with Belted Galloway beef cattle). Dutch Belted are known for producing premium quality naturally homogenized milk. With only 200 registered in the U.S, the breed also offered the couple the opportunity to begin a breeding up program and make a contribution to farm animal preservation. Come taste the premium milk for yourself. The farm also offers fresh eggs, maple syrup, grass-fed beef, pork, and chicken for sale.
By Helen Brody (March 29, 2012)
With the purchase of an 1874 farm house and 126 acres of land in 2005, Sarah Costa and Sam Canonica became a welcome addition to New Hampshire’s hardworking first generation farmers.”Sure,” says Sarah from her Winchester farm, “sometimes I feel sorry for myself, having to bundle up to go to the barn at zero degrees in the dark, but once I get there, working with the cows and watching the sun come up over the mountains while the birds chirp, I think, it does not get much better than this!”
The couple early on decided that their primary focus would be to produce good quality milk. It was a big decision to start milking cows from scratch, particularly in the current economy. To set themselves apart from the rest of the dairy industry, they decided on milking and breeding the rarely seen heritage Dutch Belted dairy cows (not to be confused with Belted Galloway beef cattle). Dutch Belted are known for producing premium quality naturally homogenized milk. With only 200 registered in the U.S, the breed also offered the couple the opportunity to begin a breeding up program and make a contribution to farm animal preservation.
As important as their work in breeding is, the unusual quality and rich character of their grass fed milk is what they found most enticing. Commercially homogenized milk is a mechanical and heated process that reduces flavor by making the fat globules very small. “The globules in our milk are naturally small without being mechanically homogenized. You would be surprised at how long it takes for the cream to rise to the top of the bottle and when it must be shaken to be redistributed,” says Sarah. Because of the numerous unique qualities of their milk, they decided to pasteurize and bottle their own with the freedom to distribute it to local NH stores, markets and customers. “Earth friendly glass milk bottles represent not only our concern for the environment but best preserves the flavor of our product,” says Sarah.
The processing takes place daily in a converted stone garage that is now a federally inspected facility. The couple milk the cows twice a day and according to Sam, “Unlike commercially pasteurized milk, ours is gently pasteurized in small batches at 145 degrees for 30 minutes and then quickly cooled down to below 45 degrees before bottling. Low temperature pasteurization leads to preserving as many nutrients as possible without having any health risks attached.” The couple also make a chocolate milk that is free of high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.
While Sam delivers milk in the early morning to stores and restaurants in the Monadnock area (see www.manninghillfarm.com for the list and milk is also always available at the farm), Sarah begins her day of farm work milking the cows and caring for the calves. Later when Sam returns, they tend to their pastured beef cattle, pigs, and chickens (meat and laying). In the summer months, they produce and harvest all of the forage for their herd and also sell square and round bales to other local farm owners.
Manning Hill Farm, LLC Sarah Costa San Canonica 79 Old Manning Road Winchester, NH 03470
Farm phone number: 603-239-4397
Retail : Farmstand: milk and eggs on honor system (24hours a day year around)
Farmstand: (seasonal, check website for hours): grass fed beef, pastured pork, chickens,eggs & other
locally produced products
Hay: First and second cut square bales and round bales
(also do custom baling)
Farmers Markets: Keene: winter and summer
Wholesale: milk – see website for local store listings and see below:
RESTAURANTS USING MANNING HILL FARM MILK:
(Manning Hill Farm is Monadnock Region’s only pasteurized local milk source)
Keene, NH Elm City Brewing Company Prime Roast Coffee Company Keene Fresh Salad Company
The Inn at East Hill Farm
The Fitzwilliam Inn/Cheshire Tavern
AND SOLD IN THE FOLLOWING STORES:
Hannaford Supermarket Beaver Street Market Hannah Grimes Marketplace
Westmoreland Village Store -Our Eggs too!
Nature’s Green Grocer Roy’s Market
Coll’s Farm Stand
Dublin General Store
Harrisville General Store
Fitzwilliam, NH– Fitzwilliam Depot General Store
Right on our farm, Manning Hill Farm!
Picadilly Farm (during their CSA season)