Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tuttle Farm Going Out of Business

The oldest farm in America is going out of business.

The Tuttle Farm in Dover, NH, in business since 1687, is calling it quits.

For some years I lived just a few towns over from the Tuttle Farm and shopped there often. Not that often -- it was, frankly, rather expensive. It was the absolute canonical family farm store selling its wares -- an immaculately clean store selling fruits and vegetables, cheese, some bread and meat and wine. It was deathly charming -- all products stacked to look fresh and earthly and just picked, the kind of thing that appeals to the affluent. You felt like a saint when you were there. Once in, you spent a few minutes sniffing around their greenhouse, and looking at their beautiful displays...and you could hardly get out without spending at least $40.

But it was New Hampshire where August and September is perfect and a bread, some wine and some cheese concludes a perfect day of running all around.

The farm was founded in 1632. They did fine for over 300 years. Imagine. I wish they weren't going out of business. I wish they were instead selling vegetables in a stand by the side of the road, for a little less, without the wine and bread sales, but I'm sure that was a difficult decision. Nobody respects farmers anymore. Americans will now eat pure poison if it is 20 cents/lb cheaper.

My last only hope is that the farm stay a farm, or at least is bought by someone like the Audubon Society. But no doubt it will be turned into yet another ugly condo development, and something precious will be, yet again, forever lost. And in 10 yrs no one will care in the least.


rhhardin said...

Farming is productivity based. These guys found an upscale niche for imagined farm nostalgia.

The actual farmers near me show up a day or so a season and plant or spray or harvest, doing a hundred acres alone easily on land they own or rent, growing field corn or soybeans.

A few older guys plant a little sweet corn and sell it on the honor system, a pile of ears and a bucket of money left out.

The significant thing isn't the corn but the honor system.

Some other farm is now the oldest family farm in America. It's like being the oldest person.

rhhardin said...

The farm down the road today, just finishing up hay baling, four teens apparently having been picked up for the purpose.

In other afternoon daily bike commute happenings, a juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk wanting to be fed.