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The Farm's History
By Linda Hoffman
In spring of 2001, I turned down a small road and found myself facing a large pond with an overhanging elm, two willows, a waterfall, apple trees, and in the distance, woods. The old farmhouse had peeling paint and a rustic porch, it would need work; but the land was dramatically beautiful.
The prior owners, Art and Marie Spaulding called the farm A & M Orchards. They had purchased it from the Campbell family, who had lived here from 1945 until 1978. Elizabeth Ainsley Campbell, friend and director of the Nashua River Watershed Association, introduced me to this property. Elizabeth grew up on this land and knows it intimately. Her parents had purchased the farm from the Eldridges in 1945.
The Eldridge farm once comprised 300 rolling acres with 'modern' poultry buildings, a brooder house, and William T. Eldridge's residence, Wegatepa Farms, a "large, modern breeding establishment devoted exclusively to the production of egg-bred Rhode Island Reds and Rock-Red Hybrids." No expense was spared to encourage their chickens to lead healthy, long lives. Twelve large pens accommodated over 4,000 birds, providing hot air in winter, ventilation in summer, and a continuous supply of fresh water.
Today, Old Frog Pond Farm is a 25-acre certified organic farm with a 'pick your own' raspberry patch, apple orchard, and the sculpture studio of Linda Hoffman. In the fall, fruit pickers can see Hoffman's work along with the art of other sculptors on the outdoor Sculpture Walk. In addition, the farm houses the office of Wild Apples, a journal of nature, art, and inquiry.