by Karen Van Wyk
In 1850, Miles Smith cleared the land at the top of a hill in New Hampshire and built his house, surrounded by 50 acres. After passing away in the 1880s, his daughter and her husband worked vigorously to get the farm back up and fully functioning by 1918. They maintained it until about 1948. They grew crops and had some cows and were self-sufficient.
Carole Soule and her husband Loring Puffer acquired the Miles Smith Farm since then and worked it from approximately 1972 until 1999, when Loring passed away. They had raised horses and crops on their family farm.
The Miles Smith Farm has kept this essence of self-sufficiency through generations. They have not sought to expand, yet they have drawn the community in by offering the beauty of simplicity and farming sufficiency in unique ways.
Carole Soule eventually remarried and she and her husband Bruce Dawson brought in a trademark the farm currently has – Scottish Highlanders. They bought their first one in 2002. The Miles Smith Farm now has 37 acres housing 72 cows, of which 45 are Scottish Highlanders and 35 are Hereford Angus beef cows. In addition, they have 15 – 30 pigs and chickens. Their focus is on raising cattle. They show their Highlands at the Hopkinton State Fair.
Carole and Bruce work the farm primarily themselves. They have a farm store where they do employ outside workers.
They are strong supporters of the local 4-H club who come in and show their animals on the farm from the Highland Riders Club.
The Miles Smith Farm Day, which took place Oct. 6, marked their sixth year hosting this celebration – a great day for the farm and its community. They give free hay rides as well as Scottish Highlander saddled cow rides. Interesting, free and practical workshops were offered, including “Raising Goats,” “How to Work Steers in Pairs” and “Creating an Easy Garden.” The workshops exuded the self-sufficiency aspect of the Miles Smith Farm and shared that knowledge and experience.
Following the farm day a farmers’ dinner, where chefs come and prepare a multi-course meal for community members to enjoy on the grounds overlooking the hills, took place. This combination of events is thoroughly enjoyed by the community and looked forward to each year.
Nothing compares to the richness that a longstanding farm contributes to a town and community. The preservation of self-sufficiency for the good of the community over generations creates a stability the whole area feels.
To learn more about the farm, visit www.MilesSmithFarm.com.
Serving the community
by Karen Van Wyk