Meet Your Local Farm: Edie Barker of Barker’s Farm
Stratham farm focuses on family and fresh produce
The snow is long gone, the birds are chirping, and the trees are blooming, which means that spring is finally here. To help celebrate this season of extended daylight, rising temperatures, and delicious local produce, meat and flowers, we’re starting a series of “Meet Your Local Farm” profiles to introduce you to some of the farms around New Hampshire and the men and women behind them.
For our latest profile, meet Edie Barker, one of the owners of Barker’s Farm in Stratham, where you’ll find a wide variety of produce ranging from lettuce and beets to tomatoes, corn, beans and strawberries. Read on to learn all about the farm and their family history.
Tell us about the history of your farm.
Edie: “Our family purchased the farm in 1917 and it has been in the family since then. Forrest Barker, Gordon and I’s daughter, is the fifth generation to farm the land. It grew from a subsistence farm to supplier of local grocery stores in the 60’s to the roadside store we have today.”
What makes your farm special or different?
Edie: “We have been rooted in this farm for over 100 years. We care deeply about this land and want to make sure it stays sustainable for the future. We recently put the whole farm in a conservation easement to ensure that it will never be developed.”
What’s the story behind the name of your farm?
Edie: “No interesting story here, it’s just the family name.”
What are you best known for?
Edie: “We are best known for out sweet corn, tomatoes, friendly staff, and welcoming environment. We have been so fortunate to always have the best employees and best customers.”
Tell us about the most memorable day you’ve had working on the farm.
Edie: “I don’t know about a specific day, but I love watching the seasons change and working with the different weather. I enjoy seeding in the spring, being excited for the new broccoli sprouts inside the greenhouse and for the colorful buds on trees outside. Everything is so green and fresh in the summer, and then by the time fall comes around, I love seeing the leaves turn golden and am ready for a restful winter.”
Tell us about what you have been up to this season. Do you have any new milestones, products, events, or anything exciting planned?
Edie: “We don’t have anything new planned this year, but we want to do the best with what we are already farming. We are always looking to improve what we are doing, whether it’s working more efficiently or growing more cover crops for soil health, we always want to learn.”
What keeps you passionate about doing what you do?
Edie: “A love for the land and our community.”
What can people expect to find at your farmstand or farm store this year?
Edie: “A wide variety of vegetables, cut flowers, fruits, and local meat, cheese, eggs and baked goods.”
Will people be able to find you at any farmers markets this year? If so, which one/ones?
Edie: “We will not be attending markets for the first time in many years. It was a hard decision, but we want to focus on our stand and provide the best produce we can.”
How can people best support you right now?
Edie: “We will be opening up the weekend before Memorial Day and would love to see people stop by!”