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.