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Life on the Farm
Posted 8/23/2015 10:00am by The Webb Family.

Greetings from Harding Hill Farm,

We hope you are all enjoying the dog days of summer. This summer has been full of the unexpected for us - thanks to a severe storm that rolled through in July. The Sunapee region received a lot of damage, and we have been busy cleaning up ever since. Tyler has been assisting local landowners with tricky tree removals and storm damage clean-up. The farm suffered a loss to our beloved blue spruce and coastal dawn redwood, equipment sheds, and many large pines in our forest. As we continue the salvage and cleanup, we look forward to several farm improvement projects, new calves, and a new supply of beef and pork.  


Grass Fed Beef is finally back!

We are excited to offer a more consistent supply of our grass fed beef cuts as we go into the fall and winter. Please contact us for an up-to-date inventory and price list. Please note, that our prices have increased from the spring pricing list to adjust for our costs of raising our beef cattle.

We also are taking pre-orders for specific preferences until mid-October. It is best to send us an email with any preferences.

We schedule pick-up times for orders at the farm, and we have a minimum order of $20 at the farm. Beef will also be available for sale during our holiday sale in December (date TBA).

Also, a big Thank You for supporting our friends at One Mile West at all their summer Eat Local Be Local nights. The last one was a huge success for HHF products – they sold out of burgers, pot roast dinners, and the short rib nachos!


How about those pigs?

A lot of our customers have been asking about HHF pork. We are doing a trial run with 4 pigs this year. We are raising them on a rotational pasture system with grain, milk, and lots of fresh garden fruit/vegetables. Pork will be available starting in early November. We will have a limited supply, but we plan to sample our products and offer pork for sale at our holiday sale in December. Stay tuned for more details as we get into the fall.  


Maple Syrup News

We still have plenty of maple syrup available in plastic and glass on the farm. Please contact us to request your order and schedule a pickup time.

Don’t forget! We also offer customized glass bottles for wedding favors and other special events.

In addition, our syrup is currently sold at the following retailers…

Bartlett’s Blueberry Farm, Newport (while the season lasts!)
Wild Goose Country Store, Sunapee Harbor
Sugar Honey Café, Sunapee Harbor
Gourmet Gardens, New London
Spring Ledge Farmstand, New London


HHF Tree Services

Tyler has had a VERY busy season with tree work! At this point, he has caught up with nearly all the storm work associated with the July severe storm. We have seen almost everything this season, including trees on houses, large 100 foot pines uprooted, and the loss of feature ornamental trees on properties. We definitely hope we don’t see another storm like that one for a long time!

If you are interested in tree services for your property, we are currently booking into October unless it is an emergency. Please contact us for any tree pruning, removal, fertilization, or cabling needs! We offer free consultations and proposals.


Notice some changes on the farm?

It has certainly been a time of change and unexpected events on the farm. The storm left us with several hundred large pine trees down in the woods. As we finish up with emergent residential tree care needs, we have moved to our woods to salvage what we can sell for logs, pulp, and firewood.

You also may have noticed a few improvements to our feature barn at HHF. A new roof has been installed to preserve the barn into the next generation. We have also made the decision to generate our own power with a solar panel installation! We are excited to start generating electricity from the barn roof. This project would not be possible without the support of family and friends. Stay tuned as we continue to make some changes to our farm infrastructure.


 

That's all the updates for now. Keep checking the Facebook Page for all the latest pictures and news. Thank you again for supporting our family business. 

~ The Webb Family 


~Harding Hill Farm~
524 Stagecoach Road
Sunapee, NH 03782
Phone: 603-863-6493
Email: hardinghillfarmnh@gmail.com
Visit: www.hardinghillfarmnh.com

Posted 7/12/2015 7:56pm by The Webb Family.

Greetings from Harding Hill Farm, 

Summertime has finally arrived in Sunapee! We celebrated the 4th of July weekend with some great weather for making hay, and that weather continues this weekend. Check out our latest blog post to learn how we make hay at HHF. If you aren't local, we hope you get a chance to visit and enjoy all that the Sunapee region has to offer - lakes, hiking, mountains, dining, and much more. 

  


Celebrate Local Food with HHF & OMW

Join us for another Eat Local Night at One Mile West restaurant located at the corner of Brook Road and Route 103 in Sunapee. They will be featuring our delicious grass-fed burgers, short ribs, and pot roast along with fresh local produce and local beers on tap.

Tuesday, July 14th - 4pm till 10pm

Tuesday, August 18th  - 4pm till 10pm

For reservations, call 603-863-7500. Hope to see you there!


Explore our Forest - Trail Run and Bike Race

We are fortunate to have a fantastic trail system in Webb Forest off of Harding Hill Road in Sunapee. The trails are great for a summertime walk, run, or mountain bike. Every year we take some time to mow the trails in preparation for an annual mountain bike race and trail run. Volunteers from the Sunapee Recreation Department mark a challenging loop of trails for the race. 

Saturday, July 18th - Frenzy in the Forest Trail Race
- 5ish mile Trail run through our beautiful forest
- presented by Sunapee Middle High School Athletic Leadership Council

Sunday, July 19th - The Horror at Harding Hill Mountain Bike Race
- 5ish mile loop with great single and double track
- organized by the Eastern Fat Tire Association
- all proceeds benefit Sunapee Recreation Department

Of course, the best part of these events - winners take home Harding Hill Farm maple syrup!


Need Tree Work? Contact our Arborist!

The summer season of tree services is going strong at Harding Hill Farm. Tyler has had the busiest June since offering these services. We are thankful for the great clients we have worked with so far this season. If you have concerns about your trees, please contact us. Tyler offers free consultations for pruning, removals, fertilization, and cabling. 


More Grass Fed Beef Coming Soon!

We are excited to get back to our normal supply of grass fed beef starting in August. We should have a steady supply of all cuts from August into the fall. Stay tuned for our fall price list. If you are interested in specific cuts or would like to buy in bulk, please contact us soon to reserve an order. 

Current Availability:

Stew Meat                          Short Ribs
Roasts                                 Spare Ribs
Sweet Italian Sausage      Kabobs/Steak Tips
Chuck Steaks                     Pet Bones


Where's our Maple Syrup?

We always encourage customers to contact us to place an order of syrup or beef for pick up at the farm. However, several local businesses also carry our syrup!

Wild Goose Country Store ~ Sunapee Harbor
Sugar Honey Cafe ~ Sunapee Harbor
Deck Dock Home Garden ~ Sunapee
Gourmet Garden ~ New London
Spring Ledge Farm ~ New London
Bartlett's Blueberry Farm ~ Newport
 


Thank you again for supporting our local business. Be sure to visit our facebook page for the latest updates on trees, cows, pigs, hay, and more. Stay tuned for news on our summer barn roof and solar project. 

 

Give us a call or email us to inquire about any of our farm products or tree services.

~ The Webb Family


~Harding Hill Farm~
524 Stagecoach Road
Sunapee, NH 03782
Phone: 603-863-6493
Email: hardinghillfarmnh@gmail.com
Visit: www.hardinghillfarmnh.com

Posted 7/11/2015 8:09am by The Webb Family.

We make hay at Harding Hill Farm every year. It keeps the fields looking tidy and weed-free. It makes the cows quite happy through the winter. We also sell a large chunk of our hay to local horse owners. Usually we yield about 4,000 bales in a decent year. That is a combination of first, second, and sometimes third cut on our own and some rented fields.

It has been a tough summer for making dry hay. The weather just didn't want to cooperate. The spring was dry, which followed with rain nearly every 3 days. We really need a dry, warm stretch of weather that lasts about 3 days or more in order to make some good hay. 

Well summertime weather had arrived, just in time for the Fourth of July. The window of opportunity was here, and to the fields we went. Make hay while the sun shines! This idiom rings true to a lot of things in life, especially in the business of agriculture. Just like we have to make syrup while the sap runs. 

Van mowed a few smaller fields at the farm before 4th of July weekend, and then he enjoyed his afternoon mowing on the hill off Harding Hill Road with a lovely view of Mount Sunapee. Our hired help, Sam E, was busy tedding shortly thereafter. Van also mowed one of the fields further up Stagecoach Road the following morning. Our fingers were crossed that the forecast would hold, and we would see sunshine through at least Tuesday. 

And then the forecast changed… with nearly 15 acres of first cut hay down, we celebrated the 4th of July with a steady rain. For those of you that may have farms, I’m sure you can relate. We are dependent on weather. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. Luckily for us, the drying conditions last Sunday and Monday were perfect. We actually made some decent hay! A few sections ended up being put in the pile for mulch, but overall we made out pretty well.

For those not familiar with the steps in making hay, it is quite a production. First we must mow the field, leaving all the tall grass lying flat in rows across the field. Next, someone must go through the field with a tedder. The tedder throws the grass so that it is evenly disbursed across the field. Tedding the grass allows it to dry faster in the field. We ted as many times as it takes to get to the proper moisture level. 

On the afternoon that the hay reaches about 10-15% water and 85-90% dry matter, it is time to bale it. This moisture level can depend on a lot of factors – type of grass/legume, stage of maturity, air moisture, ground moisture, etc. The idea is to bale the hay when it is dry enough to store, while limiting leaf loss since that is where the nutrients are. An experienced farmer can tell the moisture level by feeling or smelling the grass. A farmer can also use a moisture meter to detect the exact amount of water present in the grass. When it is ready, someone heads out to the field with the rake. The rake takes the spread out hay and forms fluffy windrows. 

  

Lastly, we use a baler with a hay wagon towed behind it to pick up those windrows and pack it into 40-50 lb bales of hay. Some farms have kicker mechanics on their baler to throw them in the wagon, others just drop them in the field. We have a slide chute on the back of our baler. One person can ride on the wagon and grab the bales to stack them neatly. We then bring them to a customer or stack them in the barn for later.

We’ve got another great window of summer heat this weekend, so we are back at it in the lower fields of the farm. It’s been an interesting summer of weather, but we seem to be gaining ground now… the count is nearing 1,000 bales. Time to get back in the field!

Posted 6/8/2015 4:58pm by The Webb Family.

Greetings from Harding Hill Farm, 

Springtime is always a juggle of tasks as we get ready for a busy summer season. We have been busy delivering firewood, completing construction projects, mending fences, cutting trees, and much more. Take a look at all our latest updates from the farm!


Try our Grass Fed Beef at Eat Local Night!

Join us for a fun night at One Mile West restaurant located in Sunapee, NH. We started this partnership last fall, and it has been a great way to get together with friends and enjoy some locally produced food and drinks. 

The next Eat Local Night is scheduled for Tuesday, June 16th. One Mile West will feature our own Harding Hill Farm grass fed beef, Sanctuary Dairy Farm ice cream, Henniker Brewing Company's beer on tap, and other items from North Country Smokehouse and Destiny Acres Farm. 

Two additional Eat Local nights will be announced for Mid-July and Mid-August. Stay tuned!


Updates from our Pastures

With all this fresh grass, the cows couldn't be happier this time of year. Our cows went back out to there summer pastures on May 19th. You can now see them happily grazing along Stagecoach and Harding Hill roads. 

As many of you may know, we are pretty much sold out of grass fed beef at this time. We still have some short ribs, spare ribs, and roasts available. Contact us if you are interested. Our Sweet Italian Beef Sausage is also currently available at Spring Ledge Farmstand in New London. 

We should have all our beef cuts available again at the beginning of August!

Our newest adventure this spring is piglets! We have four piglets that are just about 3 months old. We are raising them along some lesser used pastures in a rotational system. Check out the latest blog post to learn about our Great Pig Adventure. We have also been posting plenty of fun pig photos on our Facebook page.


Contact our Arborist for all your Tree Care Needs!

Tyler is an NH Certified Arborist, and he provides free consultations and proposals. Tyler offers a variety of tree services including pruning, cabling, fertilizing and removals. Take a look at our tree work page on the HHF website to see him in action. Email or call to schedule a visit. 


Maple Syrup still Available

After a busy maple season, we still have plenty of syrup available at the farm. Contact us any time to place an order for pick up at the farm. Our syrup is also currently available at Wild Goose Country Store, Gourmet Gardens ~ Gifts of Great Taste, and Spring Ledge Farm

Did you know we also do wedding favors? We can customize small glass favors of our delicious maple syrup for any special event. Just contact us for a quote. 


Some Different Views on the Farm

We are excited about a lot of fun projects on the farm this summer. Have you driven by the farm? Notice any changes? The guys were able to harvest around 30,000 board feet of pine on the main farm to open up some views and eventually allow for extension of pasture.

We are also in the middle of a renovation on our aging barn. We just rebuilt the cupola, and pretty soon we will have a new barn roof complete with solar panels. It will be an exciting venture to utilize our exposed hill top to generate solar power! These projects would not be possible without some outstanding family support.

Keep checking our Blog and Facebook page to see our progress.



That's all for this month. Do not hesitate to email or call to inquire about any of our farm products and services. 

Thank you again for your support!

- The Webb Family


~Harding Hill Farm~
524 Stagecoach Road
Sunapee, NH 03782
Phone: 603-863-6493
Email: hardinghillfarmnh@gmail.com
Visit: www.hardinghillfarmnh.com

Posted 5/16/2015 8:28am by The Webb Family.

We want to increase our cow herd, but we know we need to improve our pastures and fencing first, which takes some time and money. Many of our beef customers have also asked if we plan to sell pork too. So, why not get some piglets? At least they kind of resemble cows with those black and white spots!

 

Finding piglets in New England can be a struggle. There really aren't that many people breeding pigs, and local pork is in high demand. Lucky for us, we have friends that raise pigs in upstate New York. We wanted to get off the farm for a little weekend relaxation, and so the adventure begins...

We packed up and headed north through Vermont, across Lake Champlain, and eventually to Sugar Bush, New York. Not many people have heard of Sugar Bush, NY... for good reason. There isn't too much there, but our friends, the Burke family, run Atlas Hoofed It Farm. They bought part of the farm for $1. How do you find a farm for a dollar? Well you find an abandoned missile silo, of course! They purchased the missile silo and the surrounding 80 acres about 8 or so years ago. Then the transformation began. Now it is a bustling farm with about 25 Scottish Highlander cattle and about 30 pigs. They have slowly transformed thick woods into some decent pastures, and the concrete pad that capped the missile silo is now a central headquarters for their pastured pigs, chickens, and horses. We had a fantastic time seeing the critters with Dan, Sara, Brooke, and Dustin. The Burkes' 100+ year old farmhouse is also a great place to enjoy a farm fresh pork chop dinner with friends. Thanks again Dan and Sara!

 

After a great meal on Friday night, we headed into Lake Placid for a two night stay. What a fantastic place to be! We were lucky to have some great mountain and lake views, and we visited Ty's alma mater, Paul Smith's College, for a fun nature walk in their conservation area. 


Lake Placid, NY

On Sunday morning we headed back to see the Burkes. Their sows had 14 piglets this spring, and they very graciously reserved four of them for us. After a little bartering with some HHF maple syrup, we had the piglets crated and ready to head home to the farm. The next adventure was the ferry ride across Lake Champlain. We really hoped these 2 month old piglets would behave themselves in the back of the truck. What if they started squeeling on the boat around all those people? What if they got sea sick? Well... we got lucky, they snoozed all the way home. 


Ferry ride across Lake Champlain, from NY to VT

In the two weeks prior to our pig pick-up adventure, Tyler and Sam spent some time constructing nothing short of a Pig Palace.

 

Upon arrival, we moved them right into their new home. For now they will be housed in one area until they are trained to electric fencing. Then we plan to move them around the farm to take advantage of some smaller pasture areas. And so the great pig experiment begins...

Meet Eenie, Meenie, Miney, and Mo!

  

Posted 4/16/2015 5:53pm by The Webb Family.

We were nervous as the season started with colder than normal temperatures and a first, rather pathetic boil on March 11th. We just kept telling ourselves that we still managed to start earlier than our 2014 start date on Maple Weekend (March 22nd). The sap trickled in as the trees slowly thawed after a cold, harsh winter. Our boils amounted to 300-700 gallons at a time. Not exactly ideal.

It pays to be optimistic. Starting during the week of April 6th, the sap started to flow. Then winter made an appearance with a few inches of snow on April 9th. After that, it really started to flow. We are talking about 120 gallons per hour out of our 12 acre orchard with 1200 taps. That's a lot. 

 

The amount running out of our small tank off 72 taps was pretty amazing too!

We boiled for 18 days in a row at the sugarhouse, with 25 days total for the season. It was a long stretch with little rest. On Saturday, April 11th, we boiled approximately 2,250 gallons of sap. It was one of our biggest days ever with a daily total of 54 gallons of syrup made! 

 

We also had a few missed opportunities... when we showed up and the 1100 gallon sap tank was overflowing and trickling down the driveway into the mud. Guess we should have gotten up earlier that day!

We are very excited to finish our maple season out with 520 gallons of maple syrup, which is well above our average 450 gallons. We will need it with a record season of customer sales out of the sugarhouse.

Thank you again to all our fantastic customers, friends, and family!

We will have our syrup available directly from the farm throughout the year by order in glass, plastic, or custom wedding/special event favors. Contact us by email. 

Syrup available at several retail stores in the area - including Wild Goose Country Store, Gourmet Gardens ~ Gifts of Great Taste, Spring Ledge Farm, Kathan Gardens, Mount Sunapee Resort, and Bartlett's Blueberry Farm

Posted 4/10/2015 7:50am by The Webb Family.

Greetings from Harding Hill Farm, 

The sap has been flowing, we have been boiling, and the maple syrup tally is growing. Mother Nature also had her say with warm spring-like temps last weekend followed by a couple inches of snow on the ground Thursday morning. The joys of New England weather!

As much as we love maple season, its getting to be time for a little sleep and maybe some spring skiing. With warmer temps on the way, join us for our last open sugarhouse and boil on Saturday, April 11th from 11am - 4pm. See below for details. 


Maple Season Update!

We have been full steam ahead (literally) as we made syrup every day this week. We made well over 100 gallons of maple syrup since last Friday, which brings us to over 320 gallons.

Last Sunday our grade changed to a Dark, Robust/Grade B. We do have plastic jugs in various sizes available for the Dark fans. However, the syrup lightened up to a beautiful Amber to almost Golden this week. Mother Nature is definitely messing with us. 

If you haven't looked at the weather forecast for the next week, spring is on its way. We expect to have our last good sap runs into the weekend, and warmth should end it as temperatures hit 60 during the day and above freezing at night. It has been an unpredictable season for all, but a great one shared with family and many new and old friends. Join us for our final open sugarhouse this Saturday!


Final Open Sugarhouse of the Maple Season

Please join us at the sugarhouse to enjoy the last sweet smells of maple season on Saturday, April 11th from 11am till 4pm.

*Featuring*        Sugarhouse Tours 
                             Fresh Maple Syrup Samples
                             Maple Cookies while they last
                             Maple Syrup & Grass Fed Beef Available
                             Maple Cream & Maple Sugar also Available

Reminder - Our Sugarhouse is located at 131 Route 103 in Sunapee, just below the Wendell Vet Clinic. It is not located at the main farm on Stagecoach road. 


Our Grass Fed Beef is in Demand

Our beef sales at the sugarhouse have been a huge success. As a result, we have limited supply left. Here is a list of what we will have on hand for our last open house of the season.

Hamburger - only 2 lbs left!
Sweet Italian Beef Sausage 
Stew Meat
Chuck, Top Round, and Rib Roasts
Short Ribs and Spare Ribs
Rib Steaks
Steak Tips - limited supply
Shoulder Steak aka London Broil
Chuck Steaks
Pet Bones

Contact us if you would like a price list or to reserve an order for pickup.


Do your Trees need some TLC?

Tyler is a certified arborist, and he offers free consultations for your tree care needs. If your trees need pruning, removal, cabling or fertilization, he will come out to your property and provide a quote. Please contact by email or phone to schedule a visit.  


It looks like our last weekly update to close out the maple season will be next week. After that, look for monthly updates or special event emails.

Thank you again for your support!

- The Webb Family 


~Harding Hill Farm~
524 Stagecoach Road
Sunapee, NH 03782
Phone: 603-863-6493
Email: hardinghillfarmnh@gmail.com
Visit: www.hardinghillfarmnh.com

Posted 4/1/2015 6:32pm by The Webb Family.

The New Hampshire Maple Weekend is a great spring tradition in our family. We love sharing what we love with so many people. It brings the locals out of hibernation to enjoy the sweet smell of steam from the evaporator, but it also brings out tourists visiting for the weekend. Some people may have never seen the process behind maple syrup... and we love to share why the pure stuff is so much better. We usually even see a few people still in their ski boots straight off the slopes of Mount Sunapee... and we did see that again this year! We truly appreciate the hundreds of people that stop in to see us each spring. 

This year, we offered our usual tours and fresh syrup samples. We also had Sanctuary Dairy Farm Ice Cream's Maple Cream ice cream on hand to serve with hot syrup on top. Kelly baked some maple cookies and offered numerous maple and grass fed beef recipes too. 

 

We had a whole crew helping out during maple weekend, including most of the Webb Family (Van, Robin, Tyler, Kelly, Sam, and Sawyer), Clark, Heather, and Jeremy. A huge thank you goes our to our friends and family who helped either by keeping the sap boiling, advertising our open house, or simply supporting what we do. 

photo credit - Donna Therrien

The weekend started off with temperatures in the 20s on Saturday with a couple inches of snow accumulating, and it ended with beautiful sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 30s on Sunday. We never get two good days in a row during maple weekend, that's for sure! While the sap did not run much over the weekend, we were able to save enough from Friday to do a slow boil all weekend. 

 

Once again thank you to all our supporters and customers! We cannot continue to do what we do without you. As we enter April, the maple season in some ways has just started this year. The weather this week has moderated into a great above freezing day/below freezing night cycle, and we are making a lot of syrup! We will be open again Easter weekend, April 4-5 from 10am till 4pm. Hope to see you there!


photo credit - Max Webb

Posted 3/22/2015 7:01pm by The Webb Family.

This morning was cold... and we had to let some things thaw slightly before getting started in the sugar house. We don't always have the time and the means to take our customers out to see our 12 acres of sugarbush. So we took the opportunity. 

A family travelled from North Carolina specifically to see the process behind maple syrup. Their relatives from Saratoga, NY joined them on a very cold and windy Sunday morning to tour our sugarbush. 

 

We walked the loop while Tyler explained our setup with tubing and vacuum lines. We also looked at the different age groups of maples we have and the challenges to sustaining a sugarbush into the future. We discussed invasive plants, the deer population, and other issues that may impact the regeneration of sugar maples.  

After a walk in the woods, they helped us get started for an afternoon boil in the sugarhouse. We put them to work firing the evaporator, setting up the press to filter fresh syrup, and of course doing some tasting (or should I say quality control) of the product. 

Thank you to Wolfgang, Christine, and the Barker's for a fun visit!

Posted 3/20/2015 7:10am by The Webb Family.

Things have changed quite a bit over the years in the Maple Syrup making business. The introduction of permanent tubing, vacuum lines, and reverse osmosis has allowed production to be a lot more efficient.

Our sugar house is old, circa at least the 1920s. We love its historic charm. We have updated it over the years with a new roof, new flooring, new stainless equipment, and reverse osmosis, but the shell remains the same. It actually is being supported by cables!

Check out this comparison... a forty year difference.

 

Those of you that stopped by the sugar house on our first open weekend may have noticed another change... two labels on our syrup containers. Maple Syrup Producers in the US and Canada pushed for a more uniform grading system, and they also wanted more of a flavor description that is easy for customers to understand. 

The state of NH approved the new grading system and the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Foods was busy developing the specific rules in 2014. We now have until January 1, 2016 to implement the new system on our labels. We decided to start this year by labeling with both the old and new systems. We will stick to that until we run out of the old labels. 

Fortunately, the NH Dept of Ag also developed a great poster to describe the new system versus the old system. We hope to have a copy of it in the sugar house by maple weekend.