Riverside Farm: Trading Hawaii for Winter Farming

Producing local food year-round takes energy, forethought and commitment. Find out more in Deborah Mcdermott’s article on Dave Tuttle and Riverside Farm. From Seacoastonline:

Dave Tuttle’s idea of fun is canceling his annual trip to Hawaii with his wife this winter so he can work.

“Call us crazy, but we just love this,” said Tuttle, 64, with an easy laugh that comes naturally and often to him. “The older I get, the more I want to work.”

The “this” to which Tuttle refers is Riverside Farm, a 215-acre farm that has been in his family since 1743. It has produced a livelihood for 10 generations in timber, vegetable, berry and flower farming, honey production and, recently, even baked goods.

Well known to regulars at the Portsmouth, Dover and York summer farmers markets, Tuttle is gladly canceling his winter vacation to concentrate on his newest venture — winter farming.

Winter production is becoming more popular among farmers across the country, who see interest among their customers for fresh food year-round.

According to the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, there were more than 1,200 winter farmers markets operating across the country in 2010-11 — almost a 38 percent increase from the previous year. You don’t have to convince Tuttle of the facts. He began winter production of greens in the fall of 2010, and said he broke even the first year and is even making a bit of a profit so far this year.

“I mean, that’s all relative,” he said with a laugh. “You don’t do this work for money, that’s for sure. Everything you make goes right back into the farm.” Read more…

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