The Commons in Rochester is bustling with people purchasing bread, honey, blueberries, tomatoes, beef, and more this sunny Tuesday afternoon. Vendors are chatting with shoppers, some who are becoming regular faces at the market. Two vendors in particular who always seem to have smiles on their faces and to be talking with people at the market are Charlene and Joseph (“Molly”) Sanborn. The Sanborns are involved with the local community – they are residents of Rochester with their farm located on Peaslee Road, and Charlene is one of the market managers, helping to make this year’s market a success. When I asked Charlene why she became involved in establishing the market at the Commons, she replied that she saw the need for the market and that it was something that the community wanted.
The Sanborns not only sell at the Rochester market, but the Somersworth farmers’ market, and at their store located on the farm. They sell a range of products such as maple syrup, and an assortment of vegetables and fruit, such as lettuce and summer squash that willing be harvested and at the market shortly. What seems to be one of their biggest attractions, however, is their meat. Charlene and Joseph raise pasture raised pigs, grass fed and finished cows, and chickens, with a range of meat products such as pork chops, spare ribs, tenderloins, prime rib steak, ground beef, multiple types of sausages – the list goes on!
Raising cows, pigs, and chickens is nothing new for both Charlene and Joseph, who both grew up on farms with animals. When talking about raising their animals, the Sanborns’ love for them is evident, as well as the respect they have for their lives and what they will eventually provide. Joseph described this farmer-livestock relationship as, “We take care of them well for six months, and they take care of us well for six months.”
The care of the animals is also evident in the superb taste of Sanborn Hope Farm’s meat. I tried the Sweet Italian sausage, serving it how Charlene suggested – with peppers and onions. In addition, I cooked up some summer squash with hot pepper flakes and prepared a green salad to create a simple but delicious meal my family still talks about. With so many options of excellent products, I know my family with be enjoying more of what Sanborn Hope Farm has to offer!