After 67 years in the Warren Family, Randy and Heather have sold the Warren Farm to Theodore Wiegand and Eleanor Kane.
Theo comes from generations of wheat farmers in Montana and Eleanor is originally from Massachusetts. They're moving to Barrington after farming in MA for three seasons, where most of their experience was in grassfed, organic animal husbandry and small scale, organic vegetable production. They're excited to continue the tradition of cut your own Christmas Trees, as well as expand the vegetable operation and offer grassfed goat and lamb, pasture raised pork, chickens, eggs, and Thanksgiving turkeys.
Posted by Eleanor Kane :: Tuesday, July 29 :: 8:44pm
Recently, I was asked why I was drawn to farming and amid a myriad of answers, the one that rose to the forefront of my mind – no doubt being in the middle of our busiest season had something to do with it – was that farming is an industry where the harder you work, the greater the reward. It’s an incredibly tangible career to be in: at the beginning of the day, the field is weedy and at the end of the day, it’s not. At the beginning of the day, the crops are in the field, by the end of harvest, they’re washed and ready to go home with all of you. The sheep were in that field, now they’re in this one, the chicken coop was dirty, now it’s clean. There’s something very appealing about seeing the fruits of your labor a couple hours later and there’s something equally appealing about knowing that if you just complete a task, you’ll reap the dividends, whether it’s a greater onion yield from weeding more, or bigger heads of broccoli by getting the irrigation set up during a dry week.
It’s funny, though, that this was my first answer because as much as all of that is true, there’s the other side of the coin: Theo went out to spread wood ash on our new pasture and the belt on the spreader broke. Luck of the draw, as it were, and now there’s a spreader and an enormous pile of wood ash sitting out back waiting for a new belt to be delivered, whenever that might be. Last week, we moved our ram and buck (otherwise known as Ramchop and Nelson, respectively) to a fresh paddock and they decided they’d rather be in the barn, and that’s exactly where they were when we woke up. Short of a concrete bunker for our livestock (exactly the type of farming we're steering clear of!), or a Tractor Supply setting up shop right here on the farm, those things are out of our hands and we’re forced to roll with them when they happen, no matter if that was a perfect day to spread the wood ash, or that we had other work to do besides trying to convince two obstinate male animals to stay put.
So there’s working hard and there’s reacting to things as they come, and then there’s the perfect irony of when those things intersect. This week, the cherry tomatoes were the embodiment of the sheer frustration of hard work amounting to very little. We did everything right and things were going great: the seedlings looked fabulous for weeks in the greenhouse, despite a chilly spring that threatened them with low nightly temperatures and had us keeping the heat mats on far longer than we expected. Once in the field, we irrigated when it was too dry, weeded when they were getting crowded, pruned them when they branched out, and staked them when they threatened to flop over. And then right as the tomatoes for the first big harvest were turning from green to orange to red, we got all this rain. The silver lining is that we took a bit of a rest while it poured (and that Ramchop and Nelson were sufficiently self congratulatory for having decided to move into the barn) and the bad news is that we have tons and tons of cherry tomatoes with enormous splits in them due to so much sudden water. We could have tried to harvest all of them ahead of the rain, but we don’t think that anyone’s keen on buying local, fresh produce that isn’t all that fresh after sitting inside for a couple days.
We’ll salvage what we can and look forward to the next wave of them ripening. We’ll also be waiting for that belt to arrive and have our eye out for any animals who are thinking about relocating even as we do the rest of the work the end of July dictates: harvesting potatoes and onions, curing garlic, and getting the cabbages, broccoli, carrots, beets, beans, and sale-able tomatoes out of the field and ready for all of you on Wednesday and Saturday.
This Week's Vegetables
Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers
Other Available Products
- Grassfed, Pasture Raised Pork, Chicken, Goat, and Beef
- Fresh Eggs: $5 /doz
- Homemade soap
- Handmade, local pottery, including mugs, bowls, jars, and plates
- Local maple syrup from right here in Barrington, NH