A Shining Example of Thinking Globally and Acting Locally:
How One New Hampshire Farm Is Using Good Food and
Good Practices to Do Good for the Community
By Chris Gillespie
If you’re looking for a fun springtime outing that also happens to be educational and environmentally-friendly, look no further than The Farm at Eastman’s Corner in Kensington, New Hampshire.
Since its opening in 2013, The Farm at Eastman’s Corner has offered delicious, locally-sourced food and beverages in a welcoming rural atmosphere, all while allowing visitors to interact with and learn from the various sustainability measures that it utilizes on a daily basis.
Upon arriving at The Farm, visitors are greeted by solar panel arrays on not one, but both sides of the street. The main area of The Farm consists of several greenhouses, animal pens and the Farm Store, which has had a rooftop solar array since February 2014 that generates over 14kwh annually, meeting 10% of the onsite electric load. Beyond the greenhouses are a series of nearly two dozen pole-mounted solar arrays, which were first installed in May 2015.
Across the street from the Farm Store is the building that serves as The Farm’s culinary team’s headquarters, known as the Food Barn, which has had a rooftop solar array since February 2015. This array produces 13.7kwh annually, meeting a third of the building’s energy needs.
The Farm at Eastman’s Corner also has solar-powered level two electric car charging stations, which were the first of their kind in the state of New Hampshire when they were installed in 2016. The Farm has worked with ReVision Energy on all of these solar projects.
Composting is another key element of life at The Farm. Organic waste generated at the Farm Store is composted using a Mr. Fox Composting bin, which the Mr. Fox Composting Company empties out each week. The Farm also has a separate compost pile for material that stays on the property in order to be used for landscaping purposes.
Sustainability even plays a role in the upkeep of The Farm’s buildings. The Farm uses low-VOC paints, which are paints that are low in volatile organic compounds or carbon-containing solvents and other ingredients that easily evaporate.
When it comes to what food products are sold and served at The Farm, The Farm prides itself in supporting the local economy and the environment by locally sourcing as much food as they can in order to eliminate superfluous transportation emissions from their carbon footprint. The Farm’s goal is to make their chain of supply as tight and efficient as possible with a goal to source 80% of their products from either the Farm itself or within twenty miles of Eastman’s Corner. The Farm also grows its own produce, such as fresh greens, ginger, garlic and tomatoes, throughout the year using their eleven greenhouses.
In addition to providing guests with quality products and a memorable experience, The Farm is also committed to educating guests about sustainability. Guests can learn about the on-site solar panels through informational signs as well as a monitor in the Farm Store that tracks the energy yield of its rooftop array in real time. The Farm also hosts a variety of free events including lectures and workshops, where community members can learn about topics such as land conversation and sustainable living.
Of all the members of its local community, The Farm is especially focused on educating and supporting children. Through special events and programs designed for children, The Farm hopes to instill children with a greater respect and appreciation for natural resources and the environment. At The Farm, children can meet local farmers, build bird house and interact with The Farm’s goats. On top of all of this, The Farm donates 5% of each sale and 100% of their profits to Sawyer Park, a 30-plus acre, family-focused public park in Kensington, NH.
Regardless of whether you are young or old, if you make a trip to The Farm at Eastman’s Corner, it’s bound to be a good one.
The Farm at Eastman’s Corner is located at 267 South Road, Kensington, NH and open daily, year-round. For more information, visit eastmanscorner.com.
Chris Gillespie is a contributing writer for Green Energy Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.