Dear Friends of the New Hampshire Farm Museum:
We sent out paper copies of our annual appeal, for those who did not receive or can't find among the holiday rush the same here in The Rochester Voice.
It has been an exciting year of growth and new direction here at the farm in 2018! Our volunteer program has continued to expand under the guidance of our new director, Kagen Weeks. Each volunteer has fondly shared stories of farming, tools and implements, cooking, baking, animal husbandry.
Our school groups are encouraged to explore 19th century New Hampshire agricultural history through hands-on activities. Children get to know our animals that would have been common on a family farm in rural New Hampshire. They get to pet the goats, Ollie and Elsa, feed the free range chickens, take a tractor ride in a wagon to see the cows that graze in the North pasture, or visit the sheep in their pens. Our Gloucester dark spot heritage pigs are always a special highlight for the school kids! During their visit, they tour the historic Jones Farm house and barn and learn first hand about farming life for men, women and children. Always appealing is when the kids have a chance to experience the chores first hand: using a scrub board, wringer washer, and a clothes line; grinding corn to feed the chickens and our barnyard rooster, Humphrey; pumping water and filling pails to tote them across the yard using a yoke. The children eagerly engage in these chores - all of which would have been done by their 19th century counterparts! Hands-on experiences are not limited to our school groups, however. Our multitude of weekend events offer children of all ages an opportunity to engage in the barnyard chores, or share stories from their past which incorporate farm life from years gone by.
If you haven't been to the farm recently, I am pleased to share that our cobbler shop was recently re-roofed with cedar shingles. Our blacksmith shop is once again up and running. The fencing in the South pasture has been repaired which now allows us to rotate the cows from pasture to pasture. We have expanded our visitors' parking lot. And several new programs, with guides in period dress and interpretive styles, have been developed by our new director and key volunteers.
None of the programs described above would have been possible without the philanthropy of my fellow history lovers. As a non-profit organization, we rely on the generosity of our members, friends, volunteers, and community stakeholders to continue keeping our history alive. On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the New Hampshire Farm Museum, I am asking that you please include The New Hampshire Farm Museum in your year-end giving for the safe-keeping of the history of agriculture and rural life in our state. Please give as generously as you can. Any gift, no matter the size, will help ensure that our story will continue. Thank you!
Jonathan B. Hotchkiss
President, NHFM Board of Trustees
New Hampshire Farm Museum
P.O. Box 644
Milton, New Hampshire 03851