Early American history and modern times merge at McClary Hill Farm in Epsom. Dave Stewart’s 18th-century farmhouse sits on a hill named for the first Scots-Irish family to settle in the area. Dave, manages his own 138-acre farm with a focus on balanced animal and vegetable production. See the fresh, organically-raised meats, dairy, poultry, eggs, honey that the farm has to offer. McClary Hill Farm encompasses an old barn, an animal barn, greenhouses, fields, gardens, and home of the new Blasty Bough Brewing Company with live music, too.
By Helen Brody (March 2, 2013)
McClary Hill Farm, Epsom, NH
Early American history and modern times merge at McClary Hill Farm in Epsom. Dave Stewart’s 18th-century farmhouse sits on a hill named for the first Scots-Irish family to settle in the area. Dave, who in a previous career owned a company that manufactured custom-molded polyurethane parts for everything from elevators to food processing plants, has returned to his farming roots. His grandfather was a dairy farmer in Maine, and Dave spent summers and weekends working with him. Now Dave manages his own 138-acre farm with a focus on balanced animal and vegetable production.
To Dave, McClary Hill Farm is also about people. “The reason to have a farm is people,” he says, “so grow your farm around people.” He has built a community space for gatherings, educational and musical events, and has renovated and updated part of the house into a European-style bed and breakfast. He envisions creating a full-diet CSA.
McClary Hill Farm encompasses an old barn, an animal barn, greenhouses, fields and gardens. The community building houses the farmstand, lodging space for farm interns, and a community space large enough to hold a contra dance. The cellar of the building houses a cheese cave, a three-zone root cellar, a meat locker and workshop.
As part of his effort to be environmentally friendly, Dave applied for and received a Conservation Innovation Grant through the National Resource Conservation Service and USDA. Targeted at farm sustainability, the project made possible biomass heating for the farm and charcoal or biochar production – a system of cooking wood in an enclosed chamber for heat with charcoal as a by-product. By mixing the charcoal with animal manure for fertilizing soil, the carbon is replaced into the ground rather emitted as a gas into the air. In the ground, carbon will remain for eons without harm to the environment.
“The future of my farm is all about putting together the puzzle pieces of agri-tourism, education, community building activities, recreation, and healthy farming,” Dave said.
And great food. “I like to eat,” Dave says, laughing. “It’s really all about the food.”
3 Griffin Road
Epsom, NH 03234
Points of Sale: Farmstand: 1 1/2 miles off Route 4
beef, chicken, pork, turkey (by special order)and a variety of vegetables