Apple Hill Farm was purchased by us (Chuck and Diane Souther) in February of 1978. The farm at that time contained some neglected crop land, numerous small hay fields, and a large portion of wooded areas, and no buildings. Much work had to be done to have the farm appear as it does today.
The driveway was built first and follows the path of an old stone wall that is adjacent to the original road from East Concord to Canterbury. The home site was established in 1980 at the junction of two stone walls. Eight windbreaks and walls have been relocated to make the fields appear as they do today.
Approximately five acres of scrub land have been cleared to open the fields up and connect them together. Beneath the soil, with the help of the Merrimack County Conservation District, and the Soil Conservation Service, are 2.5 miles of subsurface tile drains have been installed. A large hay barn was built in 1985. The first apple trees were planted the spring of 1978, even before the homestead was established.
We are not newcomers to the apple and farming industry having been involved in agriculture since high school. Our farm is frequently the site of tours for farmers and others interested in agriculture in New Hampshire. In our cultural practices we are strong believers in integrated pest management with numerous traps placed, and monitoring techniques used in all crops on the farm. Somewhere at anytime on the farm we’ll have an experimental area, where in cooperation with University researchers, we are trying out new forms of crop management. We have and are now holding positions in the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation, S.P.A.C.E., and N.H.Stories. Coming into our 43rd year of growth, the apple trees are thriving and changes are constantly taking place.
For 15 years the apple crop here at Apple Hill Farm was sold wholesale as were other crops. In 1995 we established a “Pick Them Yourself” operation for small fruits and apples. For our pick them yourself season, strawberries are available mid-June to mid-July, blueberries mid-July to early September , raspberries, mid-July to early August, black currants late July to early August. Finally, apples, our largest crop, are done from Labor Day to Columbus Day.
- 2003, Apple Hill Farm was recognized as a “Farm of Distinction” by the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Foods.
- 2013 they received the NH Farm Bureau’s Award for Excellent Service in Agriculture and Rural Life!
In addition to our pick them yourself business, we built a large modern farm stand including a bakery where we bake pies and simmer jellies from scratch. The farm stand houses the sales area for the peaches, apples, our own homemade apple cider, jams, jellies, baked goods, NH cheeses, NH bacon, Farnum Hill hard cider, and Flag Hill Wine and many fall treats and vegetables. Peaches are the first tree fruit crop we start to harvest with Apples being last, all for sale, picked in the stand or you can pick them yourself as the season allows.
Thank you for letting us share a touch of country with you!
Chuck and Diane Souther