Strawberry picking is a New Hampshire tradition that dates back to the days when “all natural” was a given, not a gimmick. There are over 20 farms throughout the state that offer the chance to “Pick-Your-Own” pint (or quart—more berries just means more jam).
Behind recent declines in bee populations are threats as diverse as pesticides, disease, and climate change. And fewer bees could mean a widespread hit to many types of agriculture. We’ll talk with beekeepers and researchers about what they’re seeing, also what the future might hold, and what could be done.
The University of New Hampshire is celebrating its use of a unique energy recovery composting system. UNH is believed to be the only university in the nation with such a compost facility, which captures generated heat for water that can be pumped to reservoirs and used for wash water, provide pre-heated water for a boiler or be used in heating systems. The system at UNH's Organic Dairy Research Farm, installed last year, preheats water used to clean and sterilize a tank and tubing in the milk room. The compost facility was named for Joshua Nelson, who advanced the technology.
The University of New Hampshire is holding an "open barn'' to give the public a chance to see how a typical New England dairy farm operates. The New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station on the Durham campus calls Saturday's event "Meet Your Milk.'' Visitors can enjoy free milk and ice cream, wagon rides, tours and visits with the university's milking cows and calves. According to Granite State Dairy Promotion, New Hampshire has approximately 130 dairy farms with an average of 115 milking animals per farm.
New Hampshire’s farm legacy extends to the very beginning of our state’s history, when farmers from over-crowded areas in southern New England started to move north in search of more open land. While the soil in New Hampshire was not as fertile as they’d hoped, farmers did take root in the state and are still here. And while the country overall has seen a trend toward fewer, bigger farms, new data from show the reverse in New Hampshire and New England: over the past five years, the state’s number of farms has grown 5%, for a total 30% increase over the past decade.
Bee populations are in decline worldwide. At UNH, researchers are beginning the first major assessment of diversity in New Hampshire’s bee populations. Part of that effort involves a "bee hotel" at Woodman Farm in Durham.
UNH Biology professor Sandra Rehan says the hotel, made of bricks and wood, will provides a habitat for bees to nest and forage freely. The idea, she says, "is to create and maintain native bee habitats to improve healthy pollinator communities."
And those farmers who open roadside farmstands reap the benefits of the local food movement. But this traditional venture has become a point of contention—and an item on the Town Meeting ballot—for the town of Canterbury.
Three years after it was put up for sale, an 11-generation family farm in New Hampshire has been sold.
Members of the Tuttle family owned the 135-acre farm in Dover since 1632, one of America's oldest continuously operated family farms. They put the fruit-and-vegetable farm up for sale in the summer of 2010 as they dealt with competition from supermarkets, pick-it-yourself farms and debt.
The original price was $3.35 million. Foster's Daily Democrat reports it sold last month for a little over $1 million to Matt Kozazcki, who owns a farm in Newbury, Massachusetts.