At an organic farm in Canterbury symbiosis is key
Aside from the grocery store, there are few places in New Hampshire where you can find produce, meat, cheese, milk, yogurt, bread and grain all in one place. Enter Canterbury's Brookford Farm.
Co-owned by husband and wife team Luke and Catarina Mahoney, Brookford uses organic, diversified farming methods to produce high-quality goods that are sold in stores and restaurants across the state. The farm avoids the use of harmful chemicals and employs non-GMO [Genetically Modified Object] techniques.
"It's really important to us that all parts of the farm have a symbiotic relationship," says Luke Mahoney. "We don't want to just do cows if it's harming the plants or the chickens, for example. It's full circle."
Brookford's symbiosis doesn't stop there. The farm, which recently moved to Canterbury after five years in Rollinsford, has already become entrenched in the community, starting with the financing of the new land.
"The Hirshbergs [of Stonyfield Farm Yogurt] financed the farm," explains Mahoney. "We identified the property as the property for our farm, [and] after identifying it, there was a price tag. We tried to figure out how we were going to come up with the money, and we thought of Stonyfield first."
Thanks to that partnership, Brookford is now giving back to the community in a big way with its Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, through which individuals pay up front to receive weekly boxes of groceries containing everything from grass-fed pork to 30 varieties of vegetables from the farm.
"It's just great to connect with the people," says Mahoney. "They eat basically just from the farm; they eat just like we do, so we have a special connection."
Plus, says Mahoney, supporting local farms benefits everyone.
"It really enriches the landscape when you can look at different areas and say, 'Oh, that's where that cheese comes from,'" he says. "It also adds to the state's food security the more food we produce."
nd while organic farming does present some challenges – Mahoney says the Canterbury farm's land isn't nearly as fertile as the Rollinsford property – Brookford isn't going anywhere.
"We're here to stay," he says. "Forever."
With farms like Brookford growing in prominence, New Hampshire restaurants are also beginning to rely on locally produced ingredients. The following restaurants have been named "Certified Local" by the New Hampshire Farm to Restaurant Connection.
Manchester's Republic Café (1069 Elm St.) locally sources everything from chicken and ham to beer and maple syrup.
Also in Manchester, Cotton (75 Arms St.) is the latest restaurant to join the Certified Local list.
The Grappone Center in Concord (70 Constitution Ave.) uses NH-made ingredients for its conferences, meetings and weddings.
Glen's Margarita Grill (78 Rte. 302) has goods from seven New Hampshire locations on its menu.
Blue Moon Evolution in Exeter (8 Clifford St.) has been relying on local farms and community members for 15 years.
MT's Local Kitchen & Wine Bar in Nashua (212 Main St.), recently added to the list, was commended for featuring NH and regional wines and beers.
The Dyn Cafe (private corporate restaurant) in Manchester.
The Local Eatery in Laconia (17 Veteran's Square).
The Runner Stone Market and Cafe in Warner (2 East Main St.).
The Crust and Crumb Baking Company in Concord (126 North Main St.).