By Helen Brody (January 16, 2012)
Charles and Dina Farrell are part of a movement giving re-birth to family farming in the most traditional sense. They are building a self-sustaining farm that produces everything necessary to provide for their family of four children and for the customers at their farmstand.
Their farm name reflects this renascence of the rural farm family. According to Dina, “the words ’The Olde Ways’ represents the nourishing traditions of our forefathers and the mustard seed embodies the belief offered up in Matthew 17:22 that ‘if you have faith as small as a mustard seed… nothing is impossible.’ ”
In 2008, the couple purchased the circa 1800 house and 86 acres in the historic district of Wolfeboro. Located half-way up Haines Hill, the farm sets back from a dirt road on farmland that they are reclaiming with the assistance of a hired helper while Charles works off the farm.The house a classic cape features a central chimney, two fireplaces and a Glenwood cookstove that Dina uses for cooking and heat from October through May. Numerous additions have been made over the years by previous owners to make the building into what Dina calls “the classic big house, little house, back house, barn.” Their farmstore, open year around, is located between two of the houses.
The family lives by organic standards themselves and are currently seeking government USDA organic certification for the many products they sell. Dina is also working with the state legislature to exempt small farms from the current New Hampshire Homestead License and to allow the sale of raw milk up to 172 pounds (20 gallons), yogurt, cheese, and butter and baked goods. They plan to make their main thrust in farming their beef and dairy products.
As a well integrated subsistence farm, chickens roam freely, while the pigs root and cows graze. All add nutrients to the soil to give flavor and vitamins to their vegetables and fruits. This perfect cycle, though productive for centuries, is currently having a revival among small farmers.
With a goal of extending New Hampshire’s painfully short growing season, their one nod to the modern era is a new high tunnel that lies beyond their 80 foot barn. Their hope is that it will give them a better shot at restoring their houses and bring their hill top property to healthy profitability.
The Olde Ways at Mustard Seed Farm
Charles & Dina Farrell
288 Haines Hill Road
Wolfeboro, NH 03894
Retail: Farm store: Year around. Open daily 9-5
Beef, pork, rabbit, chicken, eggs, vegetables, fruits, herbs, cheeses, breads, pies.
Cow shares available