Hundreds turn out for Carroll County Farm Day

Sunday News Correspondent
July 27. 2013 9:39PM
Henry, a 5-month-old Sheltie, held by owner and Master Gardener Kim Espinosa, above left, meets oxen Big and Rich during Carroll County Farm. Oxen owner Rob Hatch is also pictured. The oxen are Red Dutchbelts, a breed from the Netherlands. They weigh 1,600 pounds each. (LARISSA MULKERN/Union Leader Correspondent)

OSSIPEE - Twelve-year-old Katherine Ricci of Effingham, a member of Carroll County 4-H Club, and Sugar, her 32-year-old Morgan Quarter Horse, proudly displayed a first place blue ribbon they earned during Carroll County Farm Day held Saturday at the county farm.

The annual event is a celebration of rural farming with hands-on workshops, demonstrations for farmers and aspiring farmers, and serves as a showcase for many young local 4-H Club members such as Ricci, who turned out to share their passion and talent for animals. Ricci, who has been involved with 4-H for three years, said working with both her club leader, a veterinarian, and with Sugar, has fueled her desire to one day become a veterinarian technician. Sugar has some health issues, such as arthritis, she said, so working with the horse has taught her much about various therapies for animals.

"It's really fun in 4-H. I've become a much better rider and I'm learning so much about horses," she said. Sugar was rescued from a farm in Massachusetts.

Approximately 18 vendors, as well as farmers, foresters, gardeners and 4-H clubs participated in Carroll County Farm Day, an annual event co-sponsored by the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, the Carroll County Farm Bureau and the Carroll County Farm.

Visitors got a look at what goes on at the county farm, such as the farrow of 12 piglets born in the barn, now labeled "Maternity Ward." The piglets' mother weighs between 500 and 600 pounds, said Carroll County Farm Manager Will DeWitte, who shared pig-raising expertise with visitors.

Fresh, locally-produced produce, beef, pork, dairy products and flowers were all for sale at the event. The Top of the Hill Farm booth was filled with fresh berries and vegetables, all grown at the Wolfeboro-based farm.

Farm owner Alan Frederickson said the wet, hot summer was good for some product, but not so good for hay. Crops such as broccoli, lettuce and cabbage did especially well this year.

UNH-Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Kim Espinosa was on hand to answer questions regarding insect or growing queries from visitors.

She commented that attendance was "looking good .. This day promotes local gardening and agriculture. And I like to see all the kids out here," she said.

Wendy Scribner of UNH Cooperative Extension said new events this year included an exhibit for firewood processing - with one cord of firewood to be raffled off during the day - and an air rifle shooting event.

Other volunteers led demonstrations in blacksmithing, sheep shearing, wool spinning, tool repair and handling, beekeeping and how to make cleaners from natural products.

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