Stewards of the Heartlands

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Heart Outside the Heartland: Walpole Valley Farms

Although not located in the Heartland of America, Walpole Valley Farms in New Hampshire is a family farm with a lot of heart. Last fall, we spent a bit of time with the Caserta family whose three generations — along with dedicated farm hands, practice sustainable, humane farming. Raising grass-fed beef, slow-growing pasture-raised chickens, heritage turkeys, grass-fed lamb and pasture-raised pork, Walpole Valley Farms provides customers in the area with delicious local meats and eggs. They use only certified non-GMO grain that leads to a healthy, nutritious product for local families who stop by and shop in a small store right on the farm.

As more and more family farms are beginning to offer, this 105-acre organic farm also has a tourism side to help maintain sustainability. The Inn at Valley Farms, on the grounds of the farm, dates to 1774 and is a graciously restored colonial home offering deluxe bed & breakfast accommodations and three-course candlelit farm-to-table breakfasts. The Inn and nearby restored barn cater to unique destination weddings and corporate functions. A special feature of staying at the Inn is that you are entitled to follow, and even help with if you desire, the daily farm chores. Something we couldn't pass up.

Stewards of the Heartlands is grateful to the Caserta family and to Tina for permitting our making images that celebrate another inspiring sustainable family farm. Even though we won't be following Valley Farms for "Stewards" because of its location outside of the U.S. Heartland proper, our time there was enriching and restorative. And delicious.

The 74-image slideshow below provides a glimpse of the New Hampshire farm, its animals, and some of the October daily farm chores as led by farmhand Tina and innkeeper/farmer Jackie. The fog in the early morning made for an ethereal backdrop to an already idyllic setting. You gotta have heart.

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