Southern New Hampshire Life

Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor


Southern New Hampshire Life - Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor

The 19th Annual New Hampshire Maple Weekend

To lift your spirits this cold and snowy winter, you can head south to Florida to bask in the sun – or stay here and be enrobed in the sweet scent of maple syrup being made! 

March 15 to April 6 has been designated Maple Sugaring Month this year, during which time sugar houses state wide open their doors to the public to show how maple sugar is made.  Visit demonstrations showing how gallons of freshly-tapped maple tree sap are transformed into maple syrup, maple sugar, and other great products.  Sam's Sugar Hse, Milford (1)

On NH Maple Weekend, March 22nd and 23rd, over 100 participating maple sugar houses throughout the state will be showing how syrup is made, handing out free samples, and selling one of NH’s most popular naturally made products.  Many sugar houses will be offering samples of maple candies, coffee, and doughnuts sweetened with maple syrup.  There will be a variety of other activities, including horse-drawn rides, petting farms, and of course, pancake breakfasts.   

For more information on NH Maple Weekend and NH Maple Sugaring Month, check out the website of the NH Maple Producer’s Association.  For a list of sugar house participating in Maple Weekend with a list of each one’s special Weekend activities, click here.

 

The 2014 NH Farm & Forest Exposition

Southern New Hampshire is home to many farms and woodlots, large and small.  In addition, many homeowners include gardening or part-time farming among their hobbies. As there’s not much a farmer or gardener can do outside this time of year, it’s the perfect time for the 31st Farm and Forest Exposition! This year the Expo will be Friday and Saturday February 7th and 8th at the Center of New Hampshire in the Radisson Hotel in Manchester.Farm

The Expo will offer more than 20 workshops, almost 100 exhibitors, a variety of fair food booths, and fun activities for children – and adults.  To see a short video from WMUR-TV about last year’s Expo, click here.

Many programs are geared to full-time farmers, but there are many sessions that are directed to backyard gardeners and homeowners as well. Some presentations will cover farm management subjects like selling crops and animal products to supermarkets and schools, farmer’s markets in winter, and the services of NH Department of Agriculture.  Others have a wider audience in mind, such as programs on small-scale maple sugaring, growing plants from seed, the care and feeding of your chainsaw, beekeeping, the resurgence of the American Chestnut tree, raising dairy goats, living with our bear neighbors, and barn preservation. Beef Cattle on Temple Farm

The NH Farm and Forest Exposition is co-sponsored by the UNH Cooperative Extension Service, the NH Division of Forests and Lands, and the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food.  The Expo’s hours will be 9 to 6 on Friday and 9 to 4 on Saturday; admission is $ 7, with free admission for people 16 and under. The Radisson is located at 700 Elm Street in Manchester.

For full details see the NH Farm and Forest Exposition website.

New Hampshire Open Doors 2013

New Hampshire Open Doors gives everyone the opportunity to meet hundreds of crafters, artists, farmers, and other creative folk in their own workshops or studios.  This year Open Doors will be held the weekend of November 2nd and 3rd.   For an “up close and personal” time with these inventive people, this can’t be beat!

Gibson Pewter, Hillsborough
Gibson Pewter, Hillsborough

What began 9 years ago as a way of letting New Hampshire residents know about the great crafters in their midst has grown into a celebration of everything created in New Hampshire – from beer to high-end paintings. Local farms, chocolatiers, wineries, and bakeries join potters, jewelers, clothiers, quilters, photographers and painters for this event.  No matter where you live in the state, you will be able to meet dozens of your most creative neighbors during this two-day celebration.  Also included in the Open Doors event are retail stores like Wilderness Creations (Dublin) and the Black Moose Country Store (Windham) which specialize in handcrafted New Hampshire made products.

Oak Leaves Studio, Wilton

Oak Leaves Studio, Wilton

It’s a great way to start your holiday shopping.  The New Hampshire Open Doors website makes stopping and shopping very easy.  The website includes lists of the participants by name, category, and location, and even contains tours that take you to several crafters who live in adjacent areas, such as the Keene area, Mont Vernon, and the Peterborough region.  Further afield, tours are also listed for central and northern New Hampshire places like, Canterbury, Walpole, and Plymouth. Check out the website for the list of participants, detailed maps and directions, and the times each shop or studio will be open.

The 2013 Deerfield Fair

This fall the Deerfield Fair will take place from Thursday September 26th through Sunday the 29th at the Deerfield fairgrounds, 34 Stage Road (State Route 43) in Deerfield.  Its hours will be: Thursday 8AM – 9PM; Friday and Saturday 8AM – 10PM; and Sunday 8AM – 7PM.

The granddaddy of aggie fairs is celebrating 137 years. Numerous livestock shows and educational 4-H programs will fill all the hours of the fair.  For entertainment, there will be strolling performers; shows by puppeteers, magicians, clowns, singers, and country bands; midway rides; the Flying Wallendas Family Circus; pig scrambles; and horse, tractor, and antique tractor pulls. Cow at a Fair

There will be competitions in over 20 broad areas, with numerous awards given for everything from handicrafts and creative writing to the more usual livestock and produce categories. Daily highlights: Thursday – the Barn Fire Trio and the All Together Now Band; Friday – the Miss Deerfield Fair Pageant; Saturday – the Heel and Toe Square Dancers; Sunday – the Annual Demolition Derby.

The Deerfield Fair Horse Show runs concurrently with the Fair.  Horses will be vying in over 175 competitions.  Click here for the horse show schedule.

Horses at a Fair

Admission: $ 10 for adults and children 13 and over; children 12 and younger, free.  Seniors admitted for $ 7 on Thursday and Friday; military with ID admitted free of charge every day.  Advance ticket purchases are just $ 8/each until September 22nd; they are available at the fairgrounds office; Radio Grove Hardware, Raymond; Candia General Store, Candia; J.R. Rosencrantz & Sons in Derry and Kensington; Deerfield Veterinary Clinic, Deerfield; and Yannis Pizza in Deerfield. Tickets may be purchased online on this webpage. Campsites are available.

You can find more information on the Deerfield Fair by clicking here.

The Hillsborough County Fair

The 56th Annual Hillsborough County Agricultural Fair will be held from Friday September 6th through Sunday the 8th. This is a true county aggie fair, but there are many programs that will inform and entertain the many townies in Hillsborough County too.

Some highlights of the Fair are The Giant Pumpkin Weigh-in on Friday, square dancing on Saturday, and a program featuring horticulturist Margaret Hagen, well-known from her appearances on WMUR Channel 9, on Sunday.

Cow at a fair

There will be many classes for 4-Hers and farmers; cooking, quilting, wood carving, fruit, vegetable, and photography contests; cow, sheep, rabbit, dog, and goat shows; horse log skidding; and horse, oxen, lawn tractor, and truck pulls.  This year there will also be demonstrations by the New Hampshire School of Falconry.

Some of the more popular competitions include the pie eating, horseshoe throwing, and pumpkin weighing contests. Other entertainment ranges from midway amusement rides and Mo the Clown to the Cowboy Mounted Shooters and many musical groups, including the Tammy Lynn Myles High Band and the Barn Fire Band.

Carousel at a fair

The Hillsborough County Fair will be at 15 Hill Dale Lane, off of State Route 13, in New Boston. Hours:  Friday Noon to 6; Saturday 9AM to 7PM; Sunday 9AM to 6PM.  General admission: $ 10/day; children 6-12, seniors 65+, active military and veterans: $ 5/day. For more details and a schedule of the Hillsborough County Agricultural Fair click here.

The 98th Annual Hopkinton State Fair

This year the Hopkinton State Fair will run from Thursday August 29th through Monday September 2nd.  The fairgrounds are located on Route 103 in Contoocook, near the Hopkinton High School.  Horse at a fair

The fair will have one of the largest livestock exhibits in New England, 4-H exhibits, a farmyard animal petting barn, home and garden exhibits, and horse and pony wagon rides. Other entertainment will include comedians, bands, a magic show, truck and tractor pulls, a demolition derby, a sand sculpture competition, and New England’s biggest carnival midway.A Midway ride

 

The Fair hours will be: Thursday through Sunday 8AM – 11PM; Monday 8AM – 5PM.  The Midway will open at Noon on Thursday and Friday and at 10AM on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  The Fair’s website has a full schedule of events and all the details you will need to make your visit to the Hopkinton State Fair a memorable one.  To purchase your tickets in advance online, click here.

The 75th Annual Cheshire Fair

The theme for this year’s Cheshire Fair is “Love What’s Old – See What’s New.” The Fair runs from Wednesday July 31st through Sunday August 4th.

The Cheshire Fair is one of the largest festivals of its type in the area, with five activity-filled days. The fairground opens at 8AM every morning.  Each day will be filled with animal shows and contests, educational seminars, and shows by comedians, musicians, and other entertainers.  And – of course – the Midway!

Ten demonstration gardens will be on display, including a patio garden, hydroponic garden, and an herb alley.  The Cheshire Fair Horse Show starts Friday August 2nd at 2PM and continues through Sunday afternoon August 4th.

Saturday at Noon will be the Fair Parade.  Special Grandstand activities are: Thursday evening – Battle of the Bands; Friday and Saturday afternoons – 4×4 Truck Pulls; and Sunday afternoon –  Demolition Derby.  A full schedule of Fair events is available on the Fair’s website.

The first day of the Fair will end with fireworks at 9PM.  Thursday through Saturday the last activity starts at 7PM; on Sunday the Lumber Jills end the Fair with their 6PM show.

The Fair will be at the Cheshire Fair Grounds at 247 Monadnock Highway in Swanzey.  Tickets to the Cheshire Fair may be purchased in advance by calling 603-357-4740; children 4 and younger are admitted free.  There are additional charges for Grandstand events and Midway activities. Some campsites are also available. For more information on tickets, click here.

The 46th Annual Stratham Fair

For almost 50 years, the Stratham Fair has been the first agricultural fair of the season. This year it will be held Thursday through Sunday, July 18th – 21st at Stratham Hill Park, Route 33 (Portsmouth Avenue) in Stratham.

There will be activities for every member of the family. Every day will be filled with many agricultural demonstrations and shows. Some of the contests include rabbit hurdling, ox and horse pulling, pie eating, and goat milking. Like many country fairs, the Stratham Fair will have rabbit, poultry, sheep, livestock, and plant judging – and many more.  There will be carnival rides, a midway, and special children’s activities too.

Entertainers include funnyman Wacky Chad and the talented Flying High Frisbee Dogs.  The musicians and singers that are performing include: Tom Dixon, Nicole Murphy, Jamie Lee Thurston, Jillian Cardarelli, Zach Lockwood, the Funky Divas, The New Englanders, and the Jandee Lee Porter Band.

The special highlights of the fair will be the Miss Stratham Fair contest on Friday evening, the Stratham Fair Road Race on Saturday morning, and the Finale Fireworks Sunday night.

The Fair has scheduled a preopening breakfast at 7 – 9AM on Thursday, followed by the exhibits opening at 10AM.  Fair activities will be held Thursday 10AM – 10PM, Friday 8:30AM – 10PM, Saturday 7AM – 10PM, and Sunday 10AM – 10PM. Click here for a full schedule.

The Stratham Fair is the major fundraising event for the Stratham Volunteer Fire Department. There is an admission charge, but discounts are available, with special discount days for grandparents, the military, Stratham residents, and groups.  Restrictions apply; see this webpage for ticket details.

The NH Farm & Forest Exposition

Southern New Hampshire is home to many farms and woodlots, large and small.  In addition, many homeowners include gardening or part-time farming among their hobbies. As there’s not much a farmer or gardener can do outside this time of year, it’s the perfect time for the 30th Anniversary Farm and Forest Exposition! This year the Expo will be Friday and Saturday February 8th and 9th at the Center of New Hampshire in the Radisson Hotel in Manchester.

Many programs are geared to full-time farmers, but there are many sessions that are directed to backyard gardeners and homeowners as well. Some presentations will cover farm management subjects like keeping farm animals healthy, running a farmer’s market, farm labor laws and regulations, the locovore movement, and how to adjust crops in a time of climate change.  Others have a wider audience in mind, such as programs on rain gardens, small-scale maple sugaring, growing plants from seed, the care and feeding of your chainsaw, beekeeping, and how to resurrect a declining barn.

Speakers will be experts in the farming, conservation, and restaurant fields, including Margaret Hagen of the UNH Cooperative Extension Service, well-known for her informative segments on WMUR-TV news.

The NH Farm and Forest Exposition is co-sponsored by the UNH Cooperative Extension Service, the NH Division of Forests and Lands, and the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food.  The Expo’s hours will be 9 to 5 on Friday and 9 to 4 on Saturday; admission is $ 7, with free admission for people 15 and under. The Radisson is located at 700 Elm Street in Manchester.

For full details see the NH Farm and Forest Exposition website.