Celebrate the summer harvest at Muster Field Farm

Musterfield Farm photo

North Sutton, N.H. — Harvest Day at Muster Field Farm Museum celebrates the summer’s harvest. It is a time to enjoy the beauty of the farm and reap the benefits of the growing season.

Harvest Day at Muster Field Farm Museum is on Sunday, October 6, 2013, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Open to all free of charge.

The museum represents the agricultural traditions of rural New Hampshire. Its historic buildings and working farm are located on 250 acres on Harvey Road in North Sutton.

Harvest Day includes guided tours of the Matthew Harvey Homestead (1 to 4 p.m.), live music in the Pillsbury Barn (12 to 3 p.m.), hayrides, storytelling, and old-time games for all to enjoy.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of craft demonstrations: spinning, blacksmithing, basket making, cider making, lace making, rug hooking and more.

A warm meal of homemade soups, fresh bread and cider will be available for purchase in the Pillsbury Barn and fresh produce will be for sale in the farm stand. The apples are delicious and plentiful.

For Info and directions call 603-927-4276 or visit www.musterfieldfarm.com.

Courtesy photo.

Old barn expert John Porter to speak in Sutton

Preserving Old BarnsSutton, N.H. – John Porter, who along with Francis Gilman authored the book “Preserving Old Barns”, will be the featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Muster Field Farm Museum on January 13, 2013. The meeting will be held at the Freewill Baptist Church in North Sutton at 2 p.m. All are welcome to attend at no cost; refreshments will be served during the meeting.

Ever wonder about the history of the many barns along New Hampshire’s scenic byways? Or how you might restore the barn sitting in your backyard?

The book is a unique resource on preserving old barns and includes images of many of New Hampshire’s historic and scenic barns.

Porter and Gilman have compiled a fascinating look at traditional New England agricultural barns and structures, and are known as the go–to experts in this field. Both have had long careers working for UNH Cooperative Extension and are well-known throughout the farming community.

Porter will have copies of the book for sale or inspection at the meeting.

For more information, email: musterfield@tds.net.

Harvest Day at Muster Field Farm Museum


MUSTER FIELD FARM MUSEUM, HARVEY ROAD, NORTH SUTTON, NH – Come share the food and festivities of a local, homegrown harvest on Sunday, September 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Muster Field Farm Museum!

Enjoy a hearty lunch of homemade soups, breads, and baked goods while listening to the live music of fiddlers and area folk musicians.

Featured musicians include The Click Horning Band from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. and The Orzechowski Family & Traditional Fiddling from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., performing in the historic Pillsbury Barn. The Buchans will provide fife and drum music throughout the day.

Children can play traditional games, dip candles, and even create their own cornhusk dolls. Storytelling in the Ryder Corner School and horse drawn hayrides will be ongoing throughout the day. Other exhibits include weaving and spinning, basket making, blacksmithing, and cider and ice cream making.  A great selection of books on traditional New England life will also be available, along with handcrafted wares.

Tours of the circa-1787 Matthew Harvey Homestead will be offered from 1 to 4 p.m., and will include a cooking demonstration on the open hearth. The farm stand offers a wonderful selection of seasonal vegetables, maple syrup and honey, as well as pickles, jams, and jellies, all made locally.

General admission is $5; free for children 6 and under.

Muster Field Farm is a nonprofit museum and working farm in North Sutton, New Hampshire. The farm, which includes many historic buildings and the Matthew Harvey Homestead, is open daily, year-round.

For more information, call 603-927-4276, or visit www.musterfieldfarm.com.

Directions: Take I89 to exit 10, route 114 to North Sutton Village, and follow signs to Muster Field Farm.

Backyard sugaring for beginner maplers

Maple Sugaring in Keene New Hampshire

Image by Keene and Cheshire County (NH) Historical Photos via Flickr

The backyard sugaring workshop scheduled for February 2nd in Sunapee was re-scheduled for February 16th. See below for details.

Sugaring season is fast approaching!

Depending on the weather, the season in New Hampshire usually runs four to six weeks from mid-February to mid-April. This is when the frozen sap in the maple trees starts to thaw…expands and flows. Freezing nights and warm sunny days make for a good harvest.

If you are sweet to the idea of sugaring and making your own maple syrup, here’s the workshop for you. It’s for first-time and beginner maplers having less than 75 taps.

The program will be held in Sunapee on Wednesday, February 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. and will be led by Steve Roberge of the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension.

It will cover all the steps—from the tree to the table—and explain the needs and how-tos for:

  • identifying trees
  • tapping, collecting, and boiling sap
  • finishing, filtering and packing syrup
  • equipping and sizing your operation including using small evaporators (homemade and commercial)

Location: Sunapee Safety Services Building (just off Route 11) on Sargent Road.

Registration: The program is free of charge. Pre-registration is requested. Contact Chuck Hersey at 603-863-9200 or chuck.hersey@unh.edu.


Workshop for beginner maplers to be held in Sunapee

Photo by Paul Howe Photography

Perhaps you’ve thought about doing some backyard sugaring….but do not know how to start? Now’s a good time to do your research and take a workshop. A special program for first time and beginner maplers using less than 75 taps will be held in Sunapee at the Safety Services Building on Route 11 on Wednesday, February 2 from 6 to 8 pm. The class will cover all aspects of maple sugaring including:

  • tree identification,
  • tapping and collecting,
  • boiling sap, and
  • finishing, filtering and packing syrup.

The class will also discuss equipment and supplies needed, especially sizing and operating small evaporators— homemade and commercial.  Steve Roberge of the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension will present the program, which is offered free of charge. Pre-registration is requested. To register or for more information contact, Chuck Hersey at 603-863-9200,  chuck.hersey@unh.edu.

On the UNH Cooperative Extension website, you can read more about maple sugaring and find lots of helpful resources.

Current Use Workshop in Bradford NH March 24

Scenic rural road lined by agricultural fields and forested lands along the Langdon-Charlestown town line in Sullivan County, NH. Photo by Catherine Bushueff, Sunapee.

Rural landowners of 10 or more acres can enroll their property in the state “Current Use” program and lower their property taxes. However, this protected property also has restrictions on its future use. An informational workshop on the NH Current Use Tax Rules, sponsored and conducted by the UNH Cooperative Extension, will be held on Wednesday, March 24 at the Bradford Town Office, 75 West Main Street, Bradford (NH) from 7 to 9 p.m.

This is a free workshop. It will explain the Current Use assessment and different aspects of the program. It’s designed to help land owners determine if this form of land conservation is appropriate for them. It will also provide a good review of regulations for those already participating in Current Use. (See the program announcement, pdf 33KB: CUBradford).

For more information or directions, contact Tim Fleury (tim.fleury@unh.edu), Merrimack County Cooperative Extension office, (603) 796-2151 (Ext. 325) or visit www.extension.unh.edu. Fleury is a Forest Resources educator for the Extension Service and member of the Sunapee Conservation Commission.

Visit SPACE (NH’s Current Use Coalition) for more information including:

What is Current Use? Current Use Assessment provides a property tax incentive to all qualifying landowners who agree to maintain their land in an undeveloped condition. This assessment is based on the capacity of the land to produce income in its current use-whether it is managed farm or forest, or unmanaged open space. Current Use is the cornerstone of the state’s land conservation efforts, with over half the land in New Hampshire is enrolled in this valuable program.

“It is hereby declared to be in the public interest to encourage preservation of open space, thus providing a healthful and attractive outdoor environment for work and recreation of the state’s citizen’s, maintaining the character of the state’s landscape, and conserving the land, water, forest, agricultural and wildlife resources.” - NH Current Use law RSA 79-A (enacted July 1, 1973)

Richards Free Library offers Menu for the Future

vei_menuFor centuries food has been used to mark the change of the seasons, to bring together a family at the end of day and as an integral part of many celebrations. In recent years, food has grown to represent a multi-billion dollar global industry and a point of confusion for many struggling to understand the risks and benefits associated with choices such as organic vs. conventional, meat vs. vegetarian or local vs. global.

In response to a growing need to consider the larger implications of our food choices and understand food’s relationship to sustainability, the Richards Free Library in Newport (NH) and the Vermont Earth Institute are offering a discussion group based on the discussion guide, Menu for the Future. This six-session anthology offers people a unique opportunity to examine the effects of modern industrial agriculture on both human and ecological health, explore emerging food system alternatives, and discuss how we as individuals can contribute to a more sustainable food supply.

This course is the eighth anthology developed by the Northwest Earth Institute of Portland, Oregon for discussion groups. Vermont Earth Institute has organized over 500 course groups since 2000 including one held earlier this year at Abbott Library in Sunapee. It was well attended and enthusiastically received.

“The Menu for the Future discussion series is a great way to broaden your knowledge about food—where it comes from, what goes into it, how we enjoy it—but the series is also an opportunity to learn more about your neighbors and what is happening locally with respect to food,” said Vanessa Bittermann, one of the members of the Sunapee study circle. “I highly recommend it. Members of our discussion group became friends, and we still meet periodically for local, organic community potlucks.”

The first discussion session will be on Thursday, September 17 from 7 to 8:30 pm at the Richards Library. For more information and for course books, contact the Richards Free Library at 603-863-3430.

A full description of the course is at www.vtearthinstitute.org/programs.

Eat Local: NH Farmers’ Market Week

The Farmers’ Market is “the slowly turning Lazy Susan of the seasons.” – Poet John Hollander

The first week of August (2 – 8th) is NH Farmers’ Market week, part of a month-long celebration that focuses on the benefits of eating locally and enjoying fresh food and NH made products while helping local economies, farmers and growers.

Mario Capozzoli, Sunapee, (greatgrandmother.org), in  today’s Living section of the Concord Monitor, tells how his love for home-grown. home-cooked food has become a passion. See “Heirloom ideas” by Maura Sullivan of the Monitor staff. Capozzoli talked to Sunapee News on Friday about NH’s Eat Local campaign; he’s a member of the state’s organizing committee.EatLocalNH

If you have a passion to eat locally or want to learn more about it, now’s a great time to visit your local market and meet your local gardeners and producers.

For a seven-page list of Granite State farmers’ markets, click here (PDF 32kb), and, for markets closer to Sunapee, see below.

Bradford Community Farmers’ Market: Bradford Community Center, 134 E. Main St. June-Oct., 3-6pm, Thurs. Locally grown and locally made products. Weekly entertainment and demonstrations weekly. Rain or shine, 938-6228, bacc@mcttelecom.com.

Canaan Farmers’ Market: Rts. 4 & 188, on the park, downtown Canaan. May-Oct., 10am-1pm. Vendor grown and produced agricultural products and fine crafts. Rain or shine, 523-4337, canaanfarmmkt@valley.net, http://www.townofcanaannh.us (see Events.)

Claremont Farmers’ Market: Broad Street Park. June 4-Oct. 1, 4-7pm, Thurs. Vegetables, fruits, honey, eggs, bread, spices, annuals, perennial plants, floral arrangements, baked goods, jams, jellies, preserves, pottery, glass, jewelry, ready to eat food, beef, etc. Children’s Story Time, 4-5pm; weekly music and
demonstrations. Assorted other children’s programs. Rain or shine, 542-4321, www.claremontmarket.org.

Concord Farmers’ Market: Capitol St. June-Oct., 8:30am-12pm, Sat. Fresh NH Fruits and vegetables, plants, baked goods, jams, maple, wines, meats, honey, crafts, worms for composting. Rain or shine, 224-8862.

Contoocook Farmers’ Market: Main St., at Contoocook Train Depot. June-Oct., 9am-12pm, Sat. Vegetables, including organic, maple syrup, eggs, pies, jams, jellies, plants, meat, soaps, cut flowers, granola. Live music (bi-weekly), Railroad Museum on site. 746-2874, planetloft@comcast.net.

Cornish Farmers’ Market: Rt. 120, Meetinghouse Green, Cornish Flat. May-Oct., 9am-2pm, Sat. Produce, meat, baked goods, crafts, honey, plants, maple syrup, pottery, fruits in season. Rain or shine, 802-674-384/6630.

Davisville Farmers’ Market: 909 E. Rt. 103, Warner. June-Oct., 10am-3pm, Fri., Sat. & Sun. Vegetables, potatoes, grain, crafts, baked goods, cheese, dried fruits & vegetables, flowers, plants. Rain or shine, 995- 1345.

Lebanon Farmers’ Market: Colburn Park. May 28-Sept. 24, 4-7pm, Thurs. Enjoy local produce, prepared foods and crafts at the market. Featuring over 30 vendors, live music and craft demonstrations at every market. Contact the market coordinator for information about the winter market, as well. Rain or shine, 448-5121, 704-996-0705, farmersmarket@lebcity.com, www.lebanonfarmersmarket.org.

New London Farmers’ Market: New London Town Green. June-Aug., Fri., 4-7pm. Vegetables, fruits, hot dogs, pizza, kettle corn. Special events will coincide with the bandstand entertainment from time to time. Rain
or shine, 526-2632, jdow2003@yahoo.com.

Newbury Farmers’ & Artisans Market: Rt. 103, near Newbury Library & playground. July-Oct., 3-6pm, Fri. Locally grown and raised produce, meats, eggs, fruits, plants, homemade breads and pastries, jams and jellies, cookies and more; hand crafted baskets, furniture, pottery, jewelry, herbal crafts, soaps. Music every week. Rain or shine, 763-0181, crazyrussell@msn.com.

Newport Farmers’ Market: on the common, Newport. June 12-Oct. 19, 3-6pm, Fri. Area’s largest farmers’ market. Over 40 vendors of produce, meats, eggs, baked goods, and homespun crafts. Open rain or shine. Children’s story time at 4pm each Fri. and musical entertainment during the markets. Rain or shine, 865-9841, newportfarmersmarket@comcast.net.

Warner Area Farmers’ Market: Town Hall lawn. Mid-June-mid-Oct., 9am-12pm, Sat. Music, crafts, vegetables, concluding with Warner Fall Foliage Festival Columbus Day weekend. Rain or shine, 456-2319.

Washington Farmers’ Market: Town Common. May 23-Oct. 10, 10am-12pm, Sat. Plants, flowers, baked goods, jams, jellies, eggs, vegetables, fruits, crafts, arts. Rain or shine, 345-8783, teaberrywolf@yahoo.com.

Wilmot Farmers’ Market: Town Green. July-Sept., 9am-12pm, Sat. Produce, plants, cut flowers, meats, cheeses, honey, syrup, prepared foods, herbs, baked foods, hot lunch and breakfast, soaps, wool, pottery, jewelry and more. Live entertainment weekly on the bandstand. Rain or shine, 526-7729, information@wilmotfarmersmarket.com, www.wilmotfarmrsmarket.com.

(Unless otherwise shown, phone numbers have a 603 area code.)

Experience NH: Country Fairs Are Underway

Looking for fun and interesting things to do this summer while staying closer to home? Then, here’s a list for you! It’s called: Experience Rural New Hampshire. (PDF 296 kb). It has 16 categories of interest including on-going and special events and a calendar of NH’s country Fairs.

New Hampshire’s rural heritage steeped in history and tradition, forms the foundation of our state’s character. Hard working innovative Yankees laid that foundation. Experience the history and meet many of today’s rural entrepreneurs. – Experience Rural New  Hampshire, a NH Dept. of Agriculture, Markets and Food.

North Haverhill kicked off Fair season

North Haverhill Fair: North Haverhill. July 22-26, 9am-10pm. A fun, family fair with something for everyone. Rides, pulling events, livestock exhibits, live entertainment-North Haverhill Fair has it all. Five full days of fun and excitement. 603-989-3305, www.NoHaverhillFair.com.

Stratham Fair: Stratham. July 23-26. 772-2990.

Cheshire Fair: Swanzey. July 29-Aug. 2, 8am-10pm, daily. Agricultural fair, midway, vendors, children’s farm fun, entertainment, horses, cattle, fun from A to Z. 603-357-4740, cheshirefair@cheshire.net, www.cheshirefair.com.

Belknap County 4-H Fair: 174 Mile Hill Rd., Belmont. Aug. 8-9. Billed as  the, “Biggest Little Agricultural Fair in NH,” featuring numerous animal shows, oxen and tractor pulls, demonstrations, 4-H exhibits, assorted entertainment for young and old, and plenty of good food. 603-286-3213, 1santa@myfairpoint.com, www.BC4HFair.org.

Cornish Fair: Cornish Fairgrounds, Townhouse Rd. Aug. 21-23, Fri. & Sat., 8am-11pm; Sun., 8am-7pm. A country fair, with ox, pony and horse pulls, antique tractor pulls, garden tractor pulls, cattle, sheep, goat shows and a woodsmen show. There are arts and crafts, flowers, vegetable shows. Midway with rides and fair food. Free parking, admission $8, 12 and under free. 603-675-5426, leabug@netzero.com, www.cornishnhfair.com.

Lancaster Fair: Lancaster. Sept. 2-7. In the “Great North Woods”… a real old time fair from the free parking to the wide clean midway, rides, animals, pulling events, horses, draft horse show, everything a county fair should be. 603-788-4531, cantona@ne.rr.com, www.lancasterfair.com.

Hopkinton State Fair: Hopkinton. Sept. 3-7. The Hopkinton State Fair is a family based, agriculture experience, with 95 years of education and fun for all ages. It has animal displays, competitions, giant pumpkins, home arts and grange displays, midway, petting farm, pony rides, horse/cattle pulling, grandstand and musical events. 603-746-4191, hsfinfo@tds.net, www.hsfair.org.

Hillsborough County Agricultural Fair: New Boston. Sept. 11-13, 12-9pm, Fri.; 9am-9pm, Sat.; 9am-5pm, Sun. A small town fair with all the sights, smells and sounds of a county fair experience. Midway, truck pulls, horse and oxen pulls, stage shows, 4-H, grange and handcrafts, animals, vegetables, giant pumpkins and fireworks. Fun for the whole family! Yes-we have fried dough! 641-6060 (Monday-Friday), hcafinfo@hotmail.com,

For for more info, visit: www.nhfairs.com

GG.org Publishes Recipes and Local Food Info

A garlic scape.

Image via Wikipedia

Greatgrandmother.org, an online source for local food sources and more, has a “whole foods” section with recipes by gg.org publisher Mario Capozolli, Sunapee. “Garlic scapes are growing in our region,” writes gg.org. The website also provides information about Local Harvest CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and fresh produce growing and available in Sunapee, Upper Valley, and greater Concord area. For more information, visit: greatgrandmother.org

Related article: Around the Kitchen Table with Greatgrandmother.org – SunapeeNews.com

Let the Fun Begin! at Your Local Farmstand

“Let the fun begin!” said a woman as she entered Spring Ledge Farm in New London this afternoon. That’s exactly how I was feeling. It was my first visit for the season. As she entered, I was just leaving with my purchases that included a flowering Ranunculus, organic ice cream made in Walpole, NH and local honey from Cutting Farm, Sanborn Hill, Springfield, NH. I’d also just learned all about planting seed potatoes; Spring Ledge Farm has a variety available.

By the time I got home, the Maple Walnut ice cream was nice and soft and just how I like it. My-oh-my! It was delicious! It’s Walpole Creamery all natural ice cream made from fresh milk with no growth hormones. As for the honey, I’ll wait for tomorrow’s breakfast to dip into the jar.

According to Helen Brody’s recent feature for the New Hampshire Farms Network: “…What gives Cutting Farm its defining signature are the honey bees and their delicious harvest gathered lovingly by Keith and Susan Cutting.”

At the Cutting Farm website, one can read more…

Susan and Keith were raised in rural New England families. We share the same strong rural lifestyles and values. We bring these values to our family and our farm. Our family of four son’s, daughter-in-laws and grandchildren share in our lifestyle and products.

Our farm is a self sustaining agricultural business. We market our products through participation in Farmers Markets, Direct Sales to consumers and through Farm Stands that support our standards of value.

Our goal is to provide a safe and healthy product to our family and our customers.

Safe, healthy and local! Sounds good to me.

“Local First” Food and Farming

Whether you’re in Oregon or New Hampshire, local farming is at best a challenge. However, people increasingly talk about how they want to get produce from area farmers’ markets and produce locally more of the food they eat.

Sunapee News has been following: Cooking Up a Story.  It posts daily and talks about food, people and sustainable living. Check it out.

25% of all Oregon farmland will be up for grabs over the next decade, the future of Oregon’s family farmers may hang in the balance. According to the latest 2007 Census of Agriculture, the average age of local farmers is 57.5 years, slightly older than the national average. – Cooking Up a Story

Closer to home, UNH provides farm facts and sustainable horticulture info at: http://horticulture.unh.edu

Even closer to home, Menu for the Future, a discussion course begins March 12 at in Sunapee at Abbott Library. For more information, call the library, 603-763-5513.

To share your food (or farming) stories and ideas, just stir up a reply below.


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