Pick Your Own — New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont
Looking for U-Pick or Pick-Your-Own farms anywhere in Northern New England...this Labor Day we've decided to put our own farm-to-table dinner together. We're willing to REALLY make a day of the preparations, so driving a-ways to get to a great farm is worth the trip*.
Personally, I prefer a farm with more variety so I can make a well-rounded meal, but bonus points for cool factor...100 varieties of tomatoes...beehives/honey...fresh eggs...some type of edible flower herb recently thought to have been extinct...you know the drill.
Hopefully I'm not duplicating a thread that has already been discussed, I searched and came up empty. My hope is this can be one of those mega-thread databases of Chow knowledge. But, if one already exists, thanks for your patience and posting the link!
*Does this thread look familiar? That's because I posted in the Southern New England forum too. To reiterate: I REALLY don't mind traveling...
I scanned thru the Merrimack county section of the NH list (great suggestion, rizzo). I think it will be hard to find PYO veggies or an all in one place. I haven't been to Dimond Hill farm in Concord but that might be a good option (they have ice cream). I know you can put together a good route. There's a lot in the Concord NH area (Merrimack County). Concord, Contoocook and Warner all have a saturday farmers market. Bear in mind Contoocook is also hosting the Hopkinton State Fair this weekend and the market area is always crowded but it's a sweet little town.
So you could get an early start and stop at Concord's farmers market then go north on I93 to exit 17. If you turn left off the highway, Apple Hill Farm is just a few miles away. Then backtrack to continue into Boscawen NH. On your right, is Highway View Farm's stand with mostly corn. They have a supersweet variety preferred by some. Then just a bit further on your right is Havoloch's Farm Stand branch for various apples. Ginger golds are in season right now. It's a small stand. Continue but bear left at the fork staying on Rt 4. You'll have to make a choice. Turn left onto Corn Hill Rd for Puztizzi's farmstand or go a bit further and turn left onto Water St for Richardson's. Richardson's has Gingergold apples and fresh peaches right now but the bonus is they have their family made ice cream (presently made in MA but it's from the Dracut Richardson's Dairy not the Richardson's ice cream) and Sue's fabulous pies that she makes right there. Sometimes she has small table talk size pies if you want a snack but, trust me, you'll want to take home one of her full size pies. The ice cream is very good. They sell utility and #2 as well as #1 grades so I find #2 or utility grade a great bargain in peaches.
According to their website, Phoenix Hill Farm is at the Concord Farmers Market. I usually get their pork. http://phoenixhillfarm.com/Market.html
Continue on Water St but go around the curve as the road changes to Long Street heading into Webster NH. Coffin Cellars has fruit wines and tastings on Sundays 1-5. If you've been moving right along, you can still make the farmers market in Contoocook or Warner. If you go from Webster into Warner, you'll pass the Corser family stand, mostly corn. They also make maple syrup but you might have to call ahead for that.
From Warner you can go south on I89 or Rt 103 to Contoocook or you can head directly to Contoocook from Webster. Make a detour to Russell's on Maple St (it's not far from exit 6 I89 if you go that way) which has several varieties of organic garlic. Unfortunately, I think the blueberry season is over thanks to our dry summer. Blue Moon in Warner had to close early. Russell's also grows blueberries but I think their season has ended, too.
The small grocery in Contoocook, The Villager, carries local Contoocook Creamery milk in a variety of flavors. Hannaford's in Concord also carries it. Glass bottles so you'll have to pay a deposit.
Continuing east on Rt 103 (you are now circling back to Concord) the short detour to Gould Hill Orchard is worth it. They grow a wide variety of apples. Their website gives a list of varieties and when they are usually available. New reports are that apple season is about 2 weeks early. Yankee Magazine also voted them the orchard with the best view. This route will also take you past Dimond Hill Farm if you'd like to stop there. I haven't been there but they look like they have a great variety of things.
Coming back into downtown Concord (Rt 103 becomes Pleasant St) turn right onto S Main St. The newly renovated and expanded Concord Food Coop will be a source of cheeses and other good things. Bulk grains and herbs/spices. The bulk herbs/spices are a great bargain. Just measure out what you need into plastic bags. You will also find organically raised meats etc. It's quite a nice small market.
Two Sisters garlic in Canterbury has fresh as well as their own garlic seasonings and jellies. Check to see if they are open. It's a nice ride. We don't usually get smoked meats but there's also a smoke house in Canterbury and another orchard so you could do a loop thru Canterbury from exit 17 before heading back into Boscawen.
You'll find fresh eggs at the farmers markets or you'll see homemade signs as you travel along. We get our eggs from our DIL's chickens so I've lost track of who is selling fresh eggs.
Another alternate from Warner is to head up to New London to Spring Ledge Farm.
You're welcome. I goofed and got two names mixed up. The small branch farmstand on Rt 3/4 is Hackleboro Orchards. (A blueberry farm near Richardson's is Avaloch but they are closed for the season.)
And I forgot that if you go Corn Hill Rd you will also pass a venison ranch. I believe they sell meat right there. It's red deer not white tails. And if you go to Warner, between Warner and Contoocook there is a Buffalo farm where you can buy a variety of meats (not all local but the buffalo is) http://yankeefarmersmarket.stores.yah...
And in Loudon NH west of Concord the Miles Smith Farm sells grass fed beef both Angus and Scottish Highland. When I buy ground beef at a farmers market, I usually buy from Miles Smith.