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Derry

July 18, 2013

J&F Farms offers visitors a look at family farm

J&F Farms opens its doors for tour of summer visitors

DERRY — It’s all about the land.

J&F Farm’s Phil Ferdinando wants to show off his family’s farm that has been a presence here for more than a century.

Conservation Commission members and other visitors will get an up-close look at the farm in action during a special summer visit.

J&F Farms will open the barn doors — and more — on July 20.

The visit is part of the Commission’s mission to keep local land and green space in the limelight and see how the land is used and valued by owners.

In this case, Ferdinando will lead the tour to show off his family’s sprawling, century-old family farm.

“It’s going to be wonderful,” Commission Chairman Margie Ives said. “Every time I go there, I learn something new.”

Ives said Ferdinando will pile everyone in a wagon hitched to a tractor, then drive them through the fields on his property along Route 102.

He will give information on his farming practices, what he grows and how he manages the land.

“I’m sure he will have some interesting stories,” Ives said.

Ferdinando has farmed the land for many years, taking on the duties from generations that came before.

His grandparents Minnie Jones and Louis Ferdinando, began the Derry farm in 1906 naming it after their own initials — J&F.

The farm was typical of the day, one of many in the area that helped keep money in a small-town farmer’s pocket and helped provide for the family in rural Southern New Hampshire.

Several years ago, a portion of the Ferdinando farm was placed under conservation easement with the town.

At that time, Ferdinando said he wanted the land to remain open and free of development in the future, if he ever chose to leave farming.

Ives said Ferdinando is a community gem who continues to inspire her and teach her things about the land.

“We are so fortunate to have him in Derry,” she said.

The farm tour on July 20 begins at 8 a.m. at the farm stand on Route 102. All ages are welcome to attend.

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