MARK LUSH of Crooked Pine Farm stands alongside the portable pen occupied by a brood of young white turkeys. They are able to supplement their diets with insects available on the open ground. Lush moves the pen periodically to fertilize the pasture land. (Elissa Paquette photo) (click for larger version)
August 09, 2012WOLFEBORO — Last Sunday, Aug. 4, seven Wolfeboro farms offered a behind the scenes look at local food production. The event, coordinated by the Wolfeboro Agricultural Commission, included personal guided tours that offered visitors insight into the work of farmers' daily lives.
Most raise animals, but not all. Some are familiar faces at the Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market, but again not all. The farmers represent diverse operations.
While the DeVylder Farm on Pleasant Valley Road is known for its extensive greenhouse production and apple orchards, Top of the Hill Farm on Route 109 South raises registered Hereford cattle and is known for its beef and pork production and haying operation as well as vegetable and flower gardens.
In North Wolfeboro along Haines Hill Road the Mustard Seed Farm stands out for its dairy production and the Certified Organic Haines Hill Farm raises Hereford Angus beef cows in addition to an array of vegetables and flowers. Both have installed high tunnels to expand the short New Hampshire growing season.
And the Farm on Frost Corner, just off Stoddard Road, also has a little of everything going on, including Randall Linebacks, a Heritage breed, for milking.
A trio making the rounds of several farms last Sunday was able to see cows and calves at several farms as well as Top of the Hill Farm's show cattle, who were residing inside the barn staying cool with the assistance of fans. They have to look good to judges at the Fryeburg Fair and having a lustrous, think coat of hair is key to success, Carolyn Fredrickson explained with a smile. Standing outside for many hours on hot days would tend to thin it.
The curly-tailed pigs at No View Farm off of Brown's Ridge Road provided a show as they raced from one end of their lot to the other when owner Lawreen Strauch offered them bright yellow summer squash. And when one turned from the pack with a chunk of the golden vegetable in its mouth and headed away, the others immediately followed in pursuit. No hogging the food!
Crooked Pine Farm, also on Brown's Ridge, operated by Mark and Brenda Lush, offered an eclectic array of farming activity on land that they've cleared over the years and keep fertilized by rotating grazing areas. Young white turkeys, raised for Thanksgiving, feed on the ground within the shelter of their portable pen. Their older, larger brethren, says Lush, will grow to 25 pounds or more by harvest time.
He moves the pens so as not to over fertilize any one area. Naturally, the larger pen has to be moved more frequently.
A walk by several garden areas, with a pause to eat wild blackberries along the way, revealed well-tended rows of lettuce and tomatoes with bite-size bright golden yellow tomatoes just asking to be picked and eaten.
Anyone interested in learning more about these family farms, their produce and directions to make a visit may call 569-1936.