Published DateGILFORD — Martina and Andy Howe of Gilford work year round as farmers. It's not just a business, but a way of life for them. Many think they only work during the months when their business, Beans & Greens Farm Stand, is open to customers, but that's not the case. During the winter months there is still livestock to tend to, produce production in greenhouses and local CSA members to supply with the farm's own frozen vegetables, meats, soups & baked goods.
However, nothing compares to the hustle and bustle that begins Memorial Day weekend, which is the unofficial start of summer in the Lakes Region. This Memorial Day weekend is no different in that they have many specials for those weekend planting projects as well as a fun Fairy House building activity for kids, offered all day on Monday. The Deli will be open, selling a variety of salads, sandwiches, wraps and paninis as well as meats for the family barbeque.
Joining the Beans & Greens family this year is their own baker, Emily, who whips up tasty confections right on premises, including a gluten-free selection each day.
Living and working a sustainable lifestyle is important to the Howes who are now in their 24th year of business. Andy points out, "We practice our own version of sustainable agriculture here at Beans & Greens by creating a healthy soil fertility that will allow us a bountiful harvest, all while respecting and protecting the environment. This is true not only for our crops but also for our livestock. No antibiotics or hormones are used in raising our livestock therefore preventing those chemicals not only from our
meats but also from getting into the ground through animal wastes".
As if farming 370 acres of land isn't enough, the Howes continue to add to their business. Recent years have seen the introduction of a covered pavilion used for a number of barbeque dinners and performances.
In addition, the Howes host a Farm to Table event featuring foods grown right on the farm and prepared by Chef Kevin Halligan of The Local Eatery in Laconia. "Kevin's business model shares our passion for locally grown foods, making this partnership a win-win for all involved", explains Martina.
New this year are Educational Livestock Tours and Veggie Tours. Both are guided and take visitors on a tractor-drawn hayride into the croplands or to the Howe's home farm, just five minutes away, up on the hill. Tours will take up to two hours and allow for questions and answers regarding humane animal husbandry and growing vegetables and flowers with minimal impact on the
Also, in keeping with the goal of educating the next generation about sustainable farming, Beans & Greens has added a Junior Farmers' Camp for children ages 5-12. This morning camp taking place over three two-day periods (a total of six days) in June, July & August, will allow children (and their parents) to experience the many aspects of farm life through hands-on activities. Campers will learn how to harvest, weed and wash vegetables and care for livestock right along with the field-hands and should
expect to get dirty.
For the schedule of these events or to make a reservation, call (603)293-2853 or check www.beansandgreensfarm.com.