244 Acres in Barrington, NH
About the Farm
Our Farming Practices
There are probably as many different farming methods as there are farms. When we started farming, we committed ourselves to practices that promote health in our animals, fertility in our soil and satisfaction in our customers. This means that we don't often do things the 'easy way', like spraying crops or confining animals, which have lowered food costs for years on other farms.
We believe in strengthening the health of our soil as a way to produce healthy and tasty vegetables, so to add fertility to our fields, we use intensive crop rotation, cover crops, and composted manure from our animals. We grow hardier, heirloom vegetables whenever possible as a way to increase food diversity.
We believe in the highest standards of animal husbandry practices. Our pigs spend their days rooting in our woodlot, wallowing in mud, and sunning themselves on pasture. Our sheep and goats eat exclusively grass, which is their natural food source and which keeps them healthy and happy. We rotate their pastures daily, so that the fields don't get exhausted and our herds are always on fresh grass. Our chickens are in 'chicken tractors' which are mobile coops that we move every morning. This allows them protection from predators, access to pasture, and fresh air while being protected from inclement weather.
These practices are what we believe make a farm sustainable in the long run, by reducing environmental degradation and producing the highest quality food available. The trade-off for this position can often be the price of our products. To help us keep our costs down, since food should be affordable, consider buying a CSA share, paying with cash or a check, bringing back your egg cartons, and supporting us during the winter and spring when costs can be high and income low.
Our goal is to improve our land each year and leave it in better health than when we started farming.
About the Farmers
Theodore and Eleanor have worked on a variety of farms and come to Brasen Hill Farm with over 15 years of combined experience. We share a love of high quality meat and vegetables, getting to know our customers, and an excitement for working with animals.
Theodore grew up on his family's wheat farm in Shelby, Montana. While attending Pacific Lutheran University, he worked at a small, local farm that specialized in feeding families in need. He became interested in farming as a way to help a community and moved to the East Coast with this goal in mind. At Brasen Hill Farm, Theo oversees the rotational grazing system, supervises the sheep, goat, and pig breeding, and heads up most aspects of the farm that relate to animal husbandry. He is also responsible for the farm's infrastructure, including building and vehicle maintenance, and manages the farm's sales. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eleanor developed a passion for the outdoors while growing up in Concord, Massachusetts. She became interested in the movement towards local, humanely raised animals while attending Phillips Exeter Academy and the University of Pennsylvania. She is excited to work towards providing her community with healthy, local meat and eggs. In addition to farming, she holds a Master's degree in Public Affairs from Brown University and is pursuing a PhD in Education at the University of New Hampshire. Eleanor oversees the vegetable operation and manages the rabbit herd. She can be reached at email@example.com.
History of the Farm
Brasen Hill Farm was founded in 2013 and produces vegetables, small fruits, and grassfed and pasture raised meat and eggs. The farm operates on 3 acres of vegetable fields and 30 acres of pasture, with two hoophouses and one greenhouse. The additional land and forest is managed for timber production and wildlife habitat.
This property, known for years as Warren Farm, has been in operation since 1719. Originally an iron mine, William McDaniel purchased the property in 1735 and the log cabin was expanded into a garrison that housed families. In 1760, Peletiah Daniels acquired the farm and began construction on the farmhouse, clearing much of the forest for sheep pasture.
By the early 1900s, Route 4 had been built, and the main portion of the property was used for logging. However, due to heavy harvesting, the farm was soon turned into a summer residence and then abandoned in the early 1940s. Richard and Dorothy Warren bought the property in 1946 and reclaimed much of the overgrown land. Dorothy's hand painted murals are still in the farmhouse above two of the fireplaces, and much of Richard's work can be seen in the current fields and pastures. In 1987, Richard and Dorothy applied to conserve the land under the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP). This conservation easement preserves the farm for agriculture and prevents the property from subdivision or development, protecting it as an open resource for the residents of Barrington and the surrounding area.
In the late 1980s, Randy, Richard and Dorothy's son, moved to the farm and together with his wife, Heather, they cleared an additional 18 acres for crops. Randy and Heather sold the land to Theodore Wiegand and Eleanor Kane in the summer of 2013. They cleared an additional 15 acres, brought animals back to the farm, and expanded the vegetable operation to what it is today.
The farm will continue with a focus on sustainable practices that preserves the land for future generations of farmers. Much of the land not currently in production is held in conservation with the NRCS to promote wildlife habitat. This includes early successional habitat for native birds, as well as a specific 12 acre area for the New England Cottontail Rabbit.
Dogs on the Farm
We love dogs, and we love having dogs here at Brasen Hill Farm. Our two dogs are (for the most part) great around our animals. We rescued Russell, our Australian Shepherd mix, in the winter of 2012 when he was seven years old. We rescued Jeb, our chow/ shar pei/ pitbull mix, in the summer of 2013 when he was just under two. They are both friendly and love people. Russell loves to bark and Jeb loves to chase sticks and balls. They are quite convinced that all visitors to the farm have come for the sole purpose of playing with them.
We ask for some accommodations for those who would like to bring their dogs to the farm to ensure that our livestock remain safe and healthy.
Please always keep your dogs on a leash.
Please do not allow your dog to bark at our livestock, as it creates undue stress for them.
Please realize that our livestock are surrounded by electric fences, and those fences are on. An encounter with these fences is designed to be painful for you and your dog.
Please understand that if your dog harms one of our animals, you are responsible for the vet bill. If your dog harms an animal in a way that affects its production, you are responsible for paying the market value of that animal.
Please clean up after your dog.
Please do not take your dog on the crop fields.
Walking and Hiking
One great aspect of our farm is the network of logging and hiking trails in the woods. Our community has enjoyed these for years and under our conservation easement, they are forever open to the public.
In the spring, summer, and fall, we have pigs in the woods beyond the farmyard. They are fenced with a double strand of electric wire that is at knee-height. This fence is charged high enough to keep full grown pigs within- please do not touch it, and always remain aware of it. Additionally, please do not cross one of these fences, as the pigs are large and can be unpredictable, and do not interact with the pigs within the fence.
If you would like to visit the animals, please check in with a staff member during our store hours. Always remember that the fences around our animals are electric and are always on. Please do not touch the fences and if there is a fence around a field, or part of a field, do not cross it. Our animals are not domesticated and can be unpredictable around strangers. Please do not feed the animals or offer them items from outside their fenced-in area. Additionally, please keep your (and your children's) voices low and maintain a calm demeanor around them, as they can easily become stressed around new people.
Driving and Parking
We have four tractors, two farm trucks, and additional machinery operating at any given time. For this reason, we ask that everyone park in the designated parking area in the open field to your left as you drive in. Please keep a careful eye out as you walk around the farm.