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WEEKEND - Veggies Galore one of 10 Barnstead farms on today's tour

BARNSTEAD — Tom and Joanne Locke of Veggies Galore and More have been running their farm stand for eight years and feature fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, baked goods, handmade quilts, pickles, jams and jellies as well as a pick-your-own strawberry operation with 1,500 plants.

They are among the 10 farms which are taking part in the Third Annual Barnstead Open Farm Day today, an event sponsored by the Barnstead Farmers and Gardeners Network which will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features a wide variety of growers and producers.
''We're retired and my husband has always loved farming,'' says Joanne, a Long Island, New York native whose car sports a license plate which reads ''Fahma Jo'', a nickname Tom gave her because she was raised in a city and had to learn farming after they were married.
Tom, on the other hand, grew up at the Locke farm in Barnstead, now home to the state's largest pick your own blueberry farm with over 11,000 high bush blueberry plants. He has always been a farmer at heart, even though he spent many years building homes in the family-owned Locke Lake Colony.
The couple have three vegetable gardens and sell their products from a stand Tom built seven years ago, after the tent they had been selling from was blown down several times.
Joanne says the pick-your-own strawberry operation was a success from the start as their first year came when the popular pick-your-own operation at Smith Farmstand in Gilford, which still has a raspberry operation, closed.
''We were inundated with people. We had more people who wanted to pick than we had strawberries for,'' she recalls, noting that experience has taught her that ''kids are no problem, but the parents are.''
After this year's crop was picked out Tom put in 500 more plants so they will be well prepared with lots of berries next June.
Joanne says the network of local farmers was formed three years ago to promote local farms and encourage consumers to buy local produce rather than produce grown thousands of miles away.
She said that many people have told her that they never realized how good cabbage or lettuce tasted until they bought it from a farm stand and experienced the difference freshness can make.
''A lot of what we do here is educational. We've had customers who didn't realize that potatoes grow in the ground, not above it. Supermarkets have desensitized customers to seasonal products and we want people to know the benefits of fresh, right off the farm products.''
She says that local farms work together to promote and support each other and that the open farm event has proven very popular.
Other farms taking part in today's event include The Local Butcher, Good Stuff Farm, Five Acre Farm, Sticks and Stones Farm, Frenette Farm, Granite State Alpaca Farm, Mountain View Farm, Duane Family Farm and Tiz a Miniature Horse Farm. Maps showing locations of all participating farms are available at the farms.
Various animals will be available for viewing at the farms, including Alpacas and Miniature Horses. Farms will also be conducting tours and demonstrations, and will have products and produce for sale.
For more information, contact Robin Donovan 269-5591 or Don Walker 435-0277.


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Tom and Joanne Locke of Veggies Galore and More on North Barnstead Road are among the 10 farms taking part in Barnstead's Third Annual Open Farm Day today. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

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Veggies Galore and More features fresh vegetables, handmade quilts and homemade pickles, jams and jellies. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 July 2014 01:35

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WEEKEND - Peter Ferber has been producing boat show posters since 1994

ALTON — Alton artist Peter Ferber has been creating boat show posters for the New England Antique and Classic Boat Show ever since 1994 and over the years has produced an impressive collection of pieces that capture the spirit of the bygone times as well as the hearts of wooden boat aficionados.
From the graceful simplicity of the late afternoon view of the Chris-Craft triple and launch in that first painting, to the elegance of the magnificent yacht Swallow and and its equally magnificent boathouse, Swallows Nest, or to the nostalgic charm of the bride and her father on the way to the wedding chapel, the viewer is captivated by Peter's ability to portray the "feel" of antique and classic boats as well as capture the beauty of the Lakes Region.
This year's poster "Fall Rendezvous", shows boats gathering to head out of Green's Basin on Lake Winnipesaukee for the annual Vintage Car and Boat Rendezvous in Wolfeboro, an event which takes place just as foliage is starting to peak in the Lakes Region.
In 1993, after almost 20 years of producing an annual Weirs Boat Show advertising flyer, which usually pictured the previous year's Best of Show winner, Phil Spencer of Wolfeboro accepted the challenge of the chapter's board of directors to improve the show posters. Phil, a local boat restorer and past president of the chapter, spent several months doodling with different ideas before coming up with the "Bingo!" idea.
He contacted Ferber, whose works were becoming well respected and included many scenes featuring boats. Peter was very enthusiastic about the prospect of perhaps memorializing each year some aspect of antique and classic boating in New England and said, "I've been waiting for your call to do this."
In 2009, Ferber began working with the then Boat Show chairman Bill John, owner of the Vintage Boat Shop in Wolfeboro,to more closely tie the poster with the current boat show and use it as a marketing tool to promote each show. The posters featured a different line of boats each year, set in a scenic, historic setting on beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee. The series so far has featured Garwood, Chris Craft, Hacker, Century and Layman.
Ferber, whose family owned a summer camp on Seawall Road where he spent his summers while growing up , says he has always been fascinated by Lake Winnipesaukee and its scenic beauty and serene landscapes.
He has been working as a full-time professional artist since graduating from Principe College in 1976, and approaches each new piece with a desire to try something new. He developed an appreciation for strong design and composition at college in daily painting and drawing excursions, including a 10 week painting trip to Europe. Attention to detail and precise control of the medium was honed through years of work producing architectural renderings for historic restoration projects. He paints in watercolors, oils, and most recently in acrylics.
Ferber and his wife, Jeannie Ferber, a former art director who runs a nonprofit to encourage the exchange of cultural and educational materials with students and teachers in Russia,. They have lived in a 1700's antique cape in Alton since 1994.

"Fall Rendezvous", 2014 Boat Show poster shows boats gathering to head out of Green's Basin on Lake Winnipesaukee for the annual Vintage Car and Boat Rendezvous in Wolfeboro. Boats include a 1949 20' Chris Craft Custom runabout in the foreground, to the right a 1953 18' Chris Craft Riviera, a 1958 24' Shepherd, with an older 1940's Shepherd in the distance. (Courtesy of Peter Ferber)

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 July 2014 01:33

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Belmont officials won't abide a gray fire vehicle, even a new one

BELMONT — Selectmen will spend about $3,000 painting and lettering the new fire chief vehicle after they realized he bought a gray one instead of red or white one.

Selectman Jon Pike said the blame was partially his because he reviewed the specifications for the Ford SUV but never looked at the color.

Fire Chief Dave Parenti said he bought the Ford because it was the one on the dealer's lot and he was given a good price for it.

"I told you I was buying a left over," he said to selectmen on Monday.

Pike said the choice of lettering it in black made no sense because the type didn't show up very well.

"To me, it just doesn't exemplify the position of chief," he said.

Selectman said they want all of the police vehicles to be black and white and all of the Fire Department vehicles to be red.

Pike said to just paint the shell and said he would call a few auto body shops in the area to get the best price and see if there were any bids for the work.

Selectmen also passed a town policy that said all police vehicles will be black and white, all fire vehicle will be red, and all public works vehicles will be red.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 July 2014 12:32

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Relieving Meredith's summer traffic congestion being tied to possible expansion of prosperous commercial area, to the north

MEREDITH — As the Advisory Committee seeking to ease congestion at the US3/NH25 intersection wrestled with unenviable and unworkable choices, Rusty McLear of Hampshire Hospitality Holdings, Inc. yesterday suggested that he and the others with property abutting the critical junction — Albert Miltner of Bootleggers and Sam Laverack of Meredith Village Savings Bank — meet then offer their perspective to the panel.

Selectman Lou Kahn, who chairs the committee, expressed concern that a private discussion among the property owners could compromise the openness of the process required by the Right-to-Know Law. McLear assured him that the property owners, all of whom would be affected by a reconfiguration of the intersection, would participate in an open forum as the statute requires. The committee will likely hear from the three at its next meeting on August 21.

McLear's initiative signaled a growing interest in ensuring that the measures to improve the flow of traffic through the intersection neither significantly encroach on properties adjacent to it nor foreclose redevelopment properties to the north of it, along Rte. 3. Last month, he pointed out that although replacing the intersection with a two-lane roundabout would reduce congestion, it would forestall development worth between $6 million and $8 million on the northeast corner.

A majority of the committee agreed and requested Gene McCarthy of McFarland Johnson, Inc., project manager for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, to assess three alternatives: a bypass, single-lane roundabout and enhanced traffic signals.

In a memorandum to the committee, McCarthy offered bleak assessments of both a bypass and single-lane roundabout. Both options are refinements of earlier proposals that found little support from the committee.

The bypass would consist of a new two-lane, one-way road carrying westbound traffic on Rte. 25 from its intersection with Pleasant Street across Hawkins Brook to Rte. 3, north of the US3/NH25 intersection, where a roundabout would be constructed south of the sewer pump station. The US3/NH25 intersection would be replaced by a single lane roundabout. Rte. 25 from Main Street to Pleasant Street would become a single-lane, one-way road for eastbound traffic and its intersection with Pleasant Street would be replaced by a single-lane roundabout with a slip lane for westbound traffic using the bypass.

The estimated cost of constructing the new roadway and three roundabouts, excluding property acquisition and environmental mitigation, is $4.6 million.

Since the bypass was proposed as an alternative to a two-lane roundabout at US3/NH25 intersection, McCarthy said that the traffic flow was modeled to measure the impact on the intersection. The results indicated that vehicles would be delayed an average of 3 1/2 minutes at the intersection and traffic would be stalled through the roundabout to the north and onto the westbound bypass.

McCarthy noted that the two roundabouts on Rte. 3 — at Rte. 25 and to the north — would be only 350 feet apart, requiring southbound traffic from the bypass to immediately merge into one southbound lane on leaving the roundabout. Likewise, he said that a single-lane roundabout at Pleasant Street would lack capacity to manage peak eastbound traffic on Rte. 25.

Furthermore, McCarthy projected that the bypass option would halve the number of spaces in the parking lots owned by the town and Meredith Village Savings Bank. The project would encroach on two lots owned by the town and four private parcels. Likewise, he pointed out that there would not be sufficient clearance beneath the bypass for the proposed Meredith Village Pathway along Hawkins Brook. Finally, he reported that state and federal agencies indicated that environmental permits for the project would be granted only with significant mitigation requirements.

A number of roundabouts have been proposed to replace the US3/NH25 intersection, including two single-lane designs, both of which included an additional slip lane for vehicles turning right. The committee was concerned at the impact of these designs on surrounding properties and requested evaluation of a single-lane roundabout without slip lanes.

McCarthy said that a single-lane roundabout without slip lanes would function "above failing conditions" with up to two-thirds of the weekend traffic volumes projected for 2035, which are the benchmarks for designing the project. Modeling indicated that It would fail for at least an hour a day on nearly half the days of the year at current traffic volumes on nearly 80-percent of days at the volumes projected for 2035.

McCarthy told the committee that in order for traffic signals to reduce congestion, the use of the existing pavement and right-of-ways would have to be maximized. He said that two of the five northbound lanes on Rte. 3 south of Rte. 25 would be dedicated to vehicles turning east on 25. Rte. 25 would be widened to four or five lanes, with the fifth lane for traffic turning north on Rte. 3 representing the optimal alternative. He projected that enhanced signalization and additional lanes would be superior to a single-lane roundabout, but repeated that a two-lane roundabout at the junction offered the most effective option.

After the meeting Kahn indicated the despite its drawbacks, the proposed bypass warranted further consideration. While other options might address the traffic problem, they would neither enhance the value nor further the development of property on either side of Rte. 3, north of its intersection with 25. The bypass, he suggested, represented an opportunity to expand the bounds of downtown to include this stretch of Rte. 3. Nor, as John Edgar, director of community development, reminded the committee would abandoning the bypass and roundabout at Pleasant Street improve access to commercial properties to the east.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 July 2014 12:27

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