January 2009 Field Notes – Agape Homestead Farm

Located just off Rte. 16B in the town of Center Ossipee, the Agape Homestead Farm LLC is producing flavored goat cheeses, such as Zesty Ranch Chevre, Dill and Garlic Chevre and French Onion and Pepper Chevre, as well as Feta marinated in oil with homegrown herbs, raw goat’s milk and a variety of meat and poultry products. The list also includes relishes, home-baked goods (think oatmeal bread, Morning Glory muffins and pies) and homemade soap from the goat’s milk. They even sell baby goats. Everything for sale in the tiny shop is raised or made on the farm, including the hand-knit hats and scarves, knit by Janna and her mom; the wool being spun from their own sheep.

Janna and Kevin Straughan started homestead farming in Tamworth and moved to Center Ossipee in 1997. Originally, they ran a food pantry under the auspices of the Agape Ministries that served more than 500 Carroll County families. Today in the same space, they operate a small self-service store. As the goats were producing more milk and cheese than they could use for their family, they decided to sell it to the public. With the help of UNH Cooperative Extension they established their small dairy.

They sell their cheese to approximately 20 retail outlets throughout the state, including Moulton Farm and Lakes Region Nutrition Center in Meredith, and they also sell their products at the farmers market in Wolfeboro during the summer months. Their four children, two of whom are still at home, have learned the skills of milking the herd of approximately 20 goats, as well as the care and feeding of the other farm animals.

The Straughans take great pride in being self-sufficient, and are way ahead of the curve on sustainability. The farm store is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

— Barbara Lauterbach

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