Legislators aim to make ‘ritual slaughter’ inclusive of more faiths

By on Mar 2, 2017 in Stories | 0 comments

Grinding through a bill about livestock and meat inspection, legislators have spent a lot of time on one, short section: which faiths are permitted to perform animal slaughter in accordance with religious beliefs. The proposed legislation originated from a 2016 study committee examining livestock and meat regulations. Slaughter according to Jewish religious ritual was already allowed, and the study committee decided that slaughter required by Islamic religious ritual should be permitted, too. Both methods require an animal to be alive, not shocked, shot or otherwise harmed prior to slaughter, to be performed by someone of the Jewish or Muslim faith, and to be done with a single, swift slice to the throat. Not everyone in the House Committee on Environment and Agriculture agrees with the bill’s more inclusive terminology. Meeting minutes show that on Feb. 14, Republican Rep. Anne Copp...

Boscawen therapeutic riding program looking for new home

By on Mar 2, 2017 in Stories | 0 comments

Everything about Whispering Horse Stable is understated, quiet. The therapeutic riding center is obscured behind Tim Reese’s Boscawen home on Corn Hill Road. Its small barn is occupied by just one horse, Cloud Dancer – also known as C.D. And most days this winter – due to abundant ice and snow – owner Heather Wunschel said she’s mostly stayed inside, completing barn chores and leaving rides on C.D. until mud season ends. By that time, though, Wunschel will need a new place to run her business. She said that Reese informed her that the current barn space will no longer be available as of April 15, her one-year anniversary of opening the business. Wunschel is now on the lookout for a new home in Boscawen. If she can find one before the warmer season, her business will be bustling: she’ll again start up riding lessons for her two current clients, bring in her volunteers from last summer...

Sap Loving Cattle

By on Feb 24, 2017 in Carole's Corner | 0 comments

The black and white steer was clearly drinking sap from a maple bucket hanging from a tree pictured in a Facebook post. I thought that my cattle were the only “sap-sucking” culprits but, apparently, my herd is not alone. We had to stop collecting sap in our pastures because the cattle would tear off the plastic sap lines and lick the sweet water flowing from our maple trees. February and March are when farmers stay up all night to boil sap into thick, delicious maple syrup. It takes forty gallons of maple sap to make one gallon of syrup. Warm days and cold nights in late winter and early spring are required for good a flow of usable sap. In the right conditions, farmers can be overwhelmed with sap. When the sap starts flowing it has to be stored and when storage space runs low it has to be boiled down to make maple syrup. Farmers will literally stay up all night to boil sap and check...

Calves and Coyotes

By on Feb 20, 2017 in Carole's Corner | 0 comments

After over two hours in the woods searching for the lost calf we all stopped. In that spot the smell of death was overwhelming. The calf had been here but it was obvious he was gone forever. Later, I realized I was smelling blood soaked ground. We were in the forest,  just fifty feet from the edge of a Miles Smith Farm fenced pasture. I could see the cows grazing and hear their mooing. I’d seen this silver calf a few days earlier, just after he was born. He ran off across the field as I approached. In the time I took to get my ATV to follow him, he was out of sight. Completely invisible. I had been waiting for nine months for this cow to have her calf and now the calf had vanished. Usually, when calves run off they eventually come back to their mothers. The mother moos if she can’t find her calf and the calf will return to nurse. We usually move a mother and her new calf...

Bill would take away local control of agritourism

By on Feb 15, 2017 in Stories | 0 comments

Less than a year after legislators approved a bill defining how municipal bodies should treat agritourism, the New Hampshire Senate is considering another bill that would completely remove local regulation on the issue. During a Senate Public and Municipal Affairs Committee hearing, the bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Bob Giuda, argued that the law passed in 2016 didn’t go far enough to protect the commercial interests of farmers. “We are allowing our local communities … to define commerce in our state,” he said. “That is not a power we give to our towns and communities.” Giuda said his proposed amendments to the law were necessary in light of several ongoing lawsuits that pit farmers who want to diversify and host weddings to stay in business against their neighbors who want peace and quiet on the weekend. “The law is being used against individuals by other individuals because we...

The Oldest Profession might not be what you think

By on Feb 11, 2017 in Carole's Corner | 0 comments

“I want to see the Guinea Pig,” asked Mason. “No, Mason, it’s a Mini Pig, not a Guinea Pig,” explained his mother. Mason, a five-year-old boy and his parents, were spending the night at our Farm House Inn and wanted to snuggle with Tazzy, our mini porch pig. Miles Smith Farm is a working pig and cattle farm and most of our income comes from selling meat. No matter how hard we work our sales don’t quite cover farm operations. With a $30,000 yearly hay bill, $12,000 yearly electric bill plus taxes, mortgage, heat and more we often wonder how we can pay our bills. How do we manage? We brought back a tradition that is just as old as farming: Agritourism. Many think that Agritourism is a new thing; it’s not. “Agritourism has been part of the fabric of agriculture in New Hampshire for generations. If anything, the increase in attention of late is a revival,” according to...

Dairy farmers closer to receiving drought aid

By on Feb 10, 2017 in Stories | 1 comment

From “cow committee” to the New Hampshire Senate floor, dairy farmers inch ever closer to receiving funds to help make up for last summer’s drought. In a 19-3 floor vote Thursday, state senators moved forward a bill that would provide $2 million to the Milk Producers Emergency Relief Fund board to then be distributed to the state’s dairy farmers. The board recommended that the Legislature appropriate a $3.6 million one-time payment for dairy farmers back in October. This was in response to the 2016 drought and associated feed losses, which were compounded by two years of low milk prices set by the federal government. Over the course of 2016, the number of licensed cow dairy operations in New Hampshire dropped from 123 to 115, according to state data. The Dairy Farmers Task Force took up the issue this past fall, a group that Senate majority leader Jeb Bradley said was fondly referred...

What do Cattle, Pigs and Kitchen Scraps have in Common?

By on Jan 30, 2017 in Carole's Corner | 0 comments

Charlotte knocked the tub out of my hands and coleslaw tumbled to the ground. She was clearly excited about the kitchen scraps I was feeding, so excited she acted like a pig. Charlotte is actually a seven hundred pound friendly sow who smells like maple syrup. She has lived at Miles Smith Farm ever since she dodged being turned into bacon three years ago. Pigs are omnivores and need protein to survive and thrive. We feed our young piglets a grain mix but we feed the older sows (female pigs) and our boar (male pig) a variety of food. Since these older pigs are not growing much they can eat different types of food including kitchen scraps. Kitchen scraps are created when chefs prepare meals and can include kale, lettuce stems, fruit, assorted vegetables, cake, pasta and bread but never meat. Kitchen waste is a huge problem for chefs and in most cases goes into a dumpster and then to the...