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August 2, 2012

Conservation walks continue

DERRY — There’s still time to get out and enjoy some of the town’s most valuable properties.

As part of the Conservation Commission’s annual quest to get residents out to enjoy nature, guided walks of some of Derry’s protected properties are still on the calendar.

The next walk is set for Aug. 18 at the Low Conservation Area.

A walk July 21 took people to J & F Farm, where owner Phil Ferdinando showed visitors how he grows, what he grows, and what it means to be a community farmer in this day and age.

Conservation Commission Chairwoman Margie Ives said seeing the farm up close and observing everything Ferdinando does was a bit mind boggling to say the least.

“It was a very informative walk,” she said.

For all his acres of land in town, Ferdinando only has seven people helping him, aside from those who manage the family’s farm stand.

“The amount of effort to irrigate and water the crops is amazing,” Ives said. “Nobody should complain about the prices with what goes into it.”

Ives said everyone should appreciate J & F’s 100-plus years as a family farming institution.

The view is also great.

“It’s a wonderful farm,” she said. “It makes you think Derry is still rural. It’s absolutely beautiful.”

Ives said anyone wanting to see how food is grown and produced should stop by the farm and see Ferdinando in action.

“Our hope is to get people out there to realize that food comes from the field, not the shelf,” she said.

The Conservation Commission leads more summer land tours this season including the Low walk on Aug. 18 and then a trip to the Doolittle Conservation Area on Sept. 29.

All walks are free and open to the public and begin at 8 a.m.

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