When: Tuesday mornings at 8:20
co-Anchor: Ela Ramsey from Miles Smith Farm with the farmers we’ll feature each week!
Sponsor: Miles Smith Farm Beef Pork Mix, funded in part by a grant from USDA Rural Development
Browse the On the Farm archives.
There are LOTS of local farms in the Greater Manchester Area and yet we know so little about most of them. They face lots of challenges and provide lots of opportunities for local communities, too. So, in this segment, Ela will help us meet some of the local farmers who’ll share not only share about their operations, but about the issues that are of concern to us all when it comes to what we eat. Find the farms in our own backyard, ONLY on Girard at Large!
About The Miles Smith Farm:
Miles Smith Farm is a 36 acre farm in Loudon, New Hampshire. The 36 acres combines part of a farm owned by Miles Smith in the 1850’s and two neighboring farms. Most of the land is pasture. The cattle we raise are grass fed on the farm’s and about 300 acres we lease around the state. All of our cattle are raised in the state of New Hampshire, so our meat is truly from New Hampshire. Because we can’t raise enough cattle ourselves we buy animals from other local farmers who follow similar practices.
- They are well adapted to our climate and don’t need to be wintered in barns.
- Produce a low-fat meat.
- Have strong maternal instincts.
- Excellent protectors
- Visually stunning – we can watch them all day.
Our natural farming practices return value to the land – by using natural fertilizer, (manure) instead of chemical fertilizers (NPK). The manure provides soil nutrients for the pasture and a more diverse flora than NPK does.
Miles Smith first farmed here in the early 1800’s. He was a stone mason by trade, helping the Shakers with their stonework. He now resides with his family in the cemetery on the farm and provides us with advice from his peaceful resting place.
The current owners, Carole Soule and Bruce Dawson, carry on this farming tradition by raising Scottish Highlander Cattle on the property. In 2000, Carole and Bruce wanted to restore the property to its original farming heritage and set about clearing the land of all the brush and young trees.
After about a year of tractor repairs they decided there had to be a better way and asked Miles what he would do. It turns out the old farmer’s ideas still persist to this day, so his advice was taken to heart: Let the animals do the work! The cattle do the work naturally. They till the soil with their hoofs and fertilize the soil with their manure all while eating grass and brush. We sometimes call them our “lawn mooers.”
Because of the growing demand for local beef we buy cattle from other family farms, like us, in New England. This way everyone benefits. You get delicious grass fed meat and local New Hampshire farmers make a living wage.