Farm Profiles May 2019

Huntoon Farm, Danbury, NH

Huntoon Farm, Danbury, NH

Huntoon Farm in Danbury, NH is a 6-generation family farm that raises beef, pork, chicken, and turkey with an on-site kitchen that makes bakery sweets and other freshly prepared items. Phil and Donna are excited about the expansion of their line of meat products as they like having a range – beef, pork, chicken, and turkey. “I don’t think we’ll go into rabbits,” Donna says, with a laugh, “but there’s definitely a call for lamb, which appeals to me because it was historically part of the farm.” The couple is always weighing questions about the future against the farm’s past.

Address: 46 Huntoon Rd,
Danbury, NH 03230
Phone: +1 (603) 768-5579

Inheritance Farm, Chichester, NH

Inheritance Farm, Chichester NH

Inheritance Farm Permaculture located in Chichester offers permaculture & sustainability education, creating a welcoming learning environment for sustainability and permaculture in New Hampshire. In the summer of 2015, Inheritance Farm hosted the 3rd Annual New Hampshire Permaculture Day, an event previously held at D Acres of New Hampshire. This event included tours and forty classes, and the theme was “Emerging Permaculture.” Their classes included how to establish a permaculture farm, how to make rocket mass heaters, how to gather wild edibles, and how to make a bench by hand. They invited guests to share their knowledge about permaculture for some of the classes.

Address: 112 Pleasant St,
Chichester, NH 03258
Phone: +1 (603) 717-1818

Ragged View Farm, Andover, NH

Ragged View Farm, Andover NH

Ragged View Farm in Andover is a farm that raises pigs, cows and produces homemade maple syrup from the local maple trees. Growing up working on his uncle’s farm, Mark Cowdrey is no amateur when it comes to farming. Originally working as a carpenter, he began becoming more invested in his small, at-home farm when jobs began to grow scarce. With hard work and dedication, Mark took on the challenge of turning his 18 acres of land into the farm he had always dreamed of.

Address: 111 Bradley Lake Rd,
Andover, NH 03216
Phone: +1 (603) 724-7511

 

Harding Hill Farm, Sunapee, NH

Harding Hill Farm, Sunapee NH

Harding Hill Farm in Sunapee is a 3rd generation family farm provides sustainable forest management services, sells firewood, maple syrup and raises a small herd of grass-fed beef cattle. Founded by Richard H. Webb in 1948, the farm includes a large white farm-house, a red barn with a cupola and solar panels, and spacious fields surrounded by forest. Richard purchased the property with the intent to run a bed and breakfast near the Mt. Sunapee ski area which opened in the same year.

Address: 524 Stagecoach Rd,
Sunapee, NH 03782
Phone: +1 603-742-8495

Contoocook Creamery at Bohanan Farm, Contoocook, NH

Contoocook Creamery at Bohanan Farm, Contoocook NH

Along the banks of the Contoocook River sits a family-run, community-loved Contoocook Creamery at Bohanan Farm. Bohanan Farm has been a thriving farm since the turn of the 20th century. Established by Lester Bohanan, it has been in his family for generations, with his great-granddaughter Heather and her husband, Jamie Robinson, its current owners. Bohanan Farm is home to 230 milk cows that produce 38,000 8 oz. servings every day.

Address: 945 Penacook Rd,
Hopkinton, NH 03229
Phone: +1 (603) 717-5873


Lewis Farm, Concord, NH

Lewis Farm, Concord, NH

Lewis Farm, less that 3 miles away from Concord center is sustainable family owned and operated farm with a CSA & Farm Stand, dedicated to supporting the local Concord community. In 1992, early in Harry Lewis’s farming career, he decided to raise flowers. “I had 650 hanging baskets that year,” he says, “but it was such a cold, wet spring and summer, no one was buying flowers. I sold only one!” The heartbreak he felt way back then still carries in his voice. “I couldn’t compete with big box stores that sold flowers for half the price. After that, I began raising vegetables. People have to eat.”

Address: 192 Silk Farm Rd,
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: +1 (603) 228-6230

Farm Profiles April 2019

Meadowstone Farm, Bethlehem NH

Meadowstone Farm, Bethlehem NH

If one were to find themselves on Brook Road in Bethlehem New Hampshire, it would be wise to make a stop at Meadowstone Farm! A tin horse drawn hay rake mounted upright is the landmark to look for. The rake guards a bridge over quaint meandering stream trickling underneath. Since they purchased the land 14 years ago, farm owners Tim and Jess have been creating an environment of agriculture, education, and community.

Address: 809 Brook Road,
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Phone: +1 (603) 444-0786

Dimond Hill Farm, Concord, NH

Dimond Hill Farm, Concord, NH

From its inception in 1827 until the mid-1950s, Dimond Hill was a living example of the storybook version of a New England family farm. For five generations the family milked a herd of Ayrshire cows, raised pigs and chickens for consumption, kept draft and riding horses, harvested hay and silage, and raised a variety of vegetables. In the mid-1950s, dairy production took center stage as the family moved into selling milk and cream, delivering them in farm-labeled glass bottles to local area homes. Dairy production transitioned into growing vegetables and fruits in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Address: 314 Hopkinton Rd,
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: +1 (603-496-8218


Field to Fork Farm, Chester, NH

Field to Fork Farm, Chester, NH

Field to Fork Farm is as much a literal description as it is a clever title, as farmer/owner Patrick Connelly firmly believes that products derived straight from pasture-raised, organically fed animals are the best available.

This belief is primarily rooted in nutrition, as Connelly and his wife Daniela both have a background in the field of health. They met at Boston University while pursuing their Masters in Public Health and moved to South Africa after graduation to work for the treatment of HIV/AIDS (Patrick as a health economist and Daniela as a medical doctor).

Address: 522 Haverhill Rd,
Chester, NH 03036
Phone: +1 603-548-4331

 

Emery Farm, Durham, NH

Emery Farm, Durhan, NH

Emery Farm has been in the family for eleven generations. The farm sells annual and perennial plants and flowers, pick your own strawberries and blueberries, large variety of fresh vegetables, pumpkins, grown on the farm. Other local products available including baked goods, locally made crafts, jams and fall mum. Also, Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas trees and wreaths are available in season. On-site farmstand open seasonally.

Address: 147 Piscataqua Rd,
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: +1 603-742-8495

Beaver Pond Farm, Newport, NH

Beaver Pond Farm, Newport, NH

A “National Bicentennial Farm,” as it was chopped out of virgin woodland in 1780, now has a thriving maple sugaring business with 2,500 taps for New Hampshire graded syrup beginning in March. During the summer their crops include a pick your own raspberry patch and blueberries and vegetables at the stand. Fall is pumpkin and apple season and in December there are wreaths made from their own brush and trees grown on the farm. Also, other local products available.

Address: 50 McDonough Road & 1047, John Stark Hwy,
Newport, NH 03773
Phone: +1 603-543-1107


Minglewood Farm, Laconia, NH

Minglewood Farm, Laconia, NH

Tucked away in Laconia, New Hampshire is a 17-acre property owned by Karen and Tom Barker. One-tenth of an acre is now occupied by Minglewood Farm- a highly productive “nano farm” appropriately named after the Grateful Dead song “New Minglewood Blues” due to the diversity of hard and soft wood forests surrounding the property. Though the farm itself may be small in size, the techniques and care put into each garden largely influence the sustainability and health of the surrounding forests and ecosystems.

Address: 129 Lane Rd,
Laconia, NH 03246
Phone: +1 (603) 528-8560

Learn About Organic Agriculture

Learn the basics of organic agriculture from soil preparation, fertilization and plant maintenance. We overview the methods most common in organic farming.

Organic agriculture is the practice of growing crops using only organic ingredients, from the fertilizer that provides nutrients to plants to the foliar spray used to prevent pests. USDA organic regulations restrict the use of conventional farming practices such as using pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.

Organically-grown food is considered premium and is often sold at  higher prices than non-organic food. The popularity of organically-grown vegetables, fruits and buds may continue to grow in the consumer market.

From afar, it’s easy to look at organic gardening with skepticism, as not all methods shared in books, databases and online line-up with each other, making organic agriculture seem disorganized.

However, within the scope of organic growing a few key practices are usually followed:

  • Soil testing, to analyze the nutrient profile of the soil used to grow plants in.
  • Soil preparation, by mixing soil mediums, tillage of the ground, or mulching and permaculture techniques.
  • The addition of organic matter into the soil, such as compost.
  • The application of animal manure, for providing plants with nitrogen and other nutrients.
  • Usage of mineral and bone powders as a source of nutrients.
  • Mulching with leaf litter, grass clippings or hay.
  • Crop inspection, removal of infected plants by hand or with natural alternatives to chemical pesticides/fungicides.

Soil Testing

Soil Testing

The soil in your garden or farm can be sent to a co-op for a small fee to analyze the nutrient content. This will help you better understand the right amendments to use when crop planning. There are various co-op extensions throughout the country that provide soil tests, where you can send in a sample of your own, like the UNH Cooperative Extension.

Soil Preparation

Tractor Tilling

Compacted soil makes it hard for developing roots to push through and expand, which in-turn leads to less available resources for the plant to use. Optimizing the consistency of the soil plays a major role in promoting fast and healthy roots. Soil is aerated by farmers usually by tilling, with some farmers and gardeners doing more niche techniques such as permaculture and layering of soil with compost.

The microbiology of soil can only survive in a small range deeper or shallower from it’s natural habitat in the soil. This means that disturbance of soil ends up destroying some natural microbial life contained. In best practice, tilling and excessive disturbance of the soil layers are to be avoided if possible, although the trade-off of compacted soil may be worse which leaves the farmer with an ultimatum.

Introducing Organic Matter into the Soil

compost

Compost is simply rotted organic matter. Adding compost to soil is good for soil structure, as the air contained helps to aerate the root zone around crops. Compost is also beneficial to the microbiology that lives within soils. As the compost decomposes, natural bacteria and fungi work to process the excess nutrients, while providing additional perks to plants such as mycorrhizal fungi, a natural fungus that helps plants absorb the mineral phosphorus and other nutrients in a sort of symbiotic relationship with the plant.

Organic matter such as compost, grass clipping and leaf litter can be incorporated into the soil. However consider withholding non-decomposed “woody” material such as wood chips, as a significant amount of nitrogen is needed which may be stolen from the plant.

The Application of Manure

chicken manure 3-2-2

Manure is used for crops as a natural form of nitrogen and other major, minor and micro-nutrients. Chicken manure is the most commonly used animal manure in agriculture that farmers buy or produce. Rated around a 3-2-2 NPK, chicken manure is a suitable growth fertilizer for a wide range of crops. Other animal manures used include pig manure, goat manure, cow manure and more.

Vermiculture or the use of worm castings in soil has shown to be very popular among organic gardeners and farmers. The nutrient profile of worm castings is made by what ingredients were used to feed the worms.

Usage of Mineral and Bone Powders

dolomite-lime

Mineral, rock and bone powders are used to alter the chemical composition of the soil, organically. Here are a few examples:

  • Dolomite lime is a common soil amendment used to naturally raise the pH of soil. A soil test will determine whether lime application is necessary for your area.
  • Bone meal is a high source of calcium, magnesium nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other vital nutrients for plant growth.
  • Greensand, mined from glauconitic sandstone deposits in shallow sedimentary basins on the ocean floor, is a rich source of glauconite, high in iron, potassium and magnesium. (Thanks Erick)

Mulching

mulch

Mulch is used to cover the bare topsoil around a plant’s root-zone. A mulch helps to preserve water, as the sun’s rays make the plant perspire and lose moisture. Typically only a mulch of 1-5 inches is recommended, as thicker mulches may harbor pests and take away from the available nitrogen surrounding the plant. A thin-material mulch is preferred, such as high-nitrogen grass clippings.

Crop Inspection

crop inspection

Organically-grown crops are usually more prone to pest attack and disease than crops grown using chemical pesticides. This means manual inspection of plants should be done more frequently, to try and minimize the spread of such injuries.

Natural pesticide and fungicide options include a strong and spicy oils, chili pepper, peppermint, soap, and also “alive” microbial agents.