Farm Day showcases Hampton farmers, growers
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hampton - posted Tue., Jul. 16, 2013
The sound could be described as the combination of a squeaky wheel and a cat in pain. “What the heck was that?” asked a visitor to Hampton’s Farm Day, held July 14 on the grounds of the town office building. “He’s learning to crow,” said 4-H member Melinda Buell, indicating a colorful, diminutive rooster in a crate on the table beside her.
The rooster, small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, was a 3-month-old Dutch bantam, according to Buell. The rooster was there with Buell, her sister, Emily, and a bantam/standard hen named Sadie, to promote the Windham County 4-H Club and the Little Livestockers, a Hampton-based 4-H club drawing members from all over the area.
“Most of our kids do either beef or dairy,” said Buell. But club members also devote time to other interests including poultry, goats and rabbits. “We have one girl who is doing sewing for her project,” said Buell.
Nearby, in a sunny field at the bottom of the hill, Larry Campion sat under an umbrella with a Maremma sheepdog, Rosie. Only seven months old, Rosie had not yet grown into her full adult size. “Their instinct is to guard whatever they’re with, so you raise them with sheep,” said Carol, Larry’s wife and the co-owner of Bittersweet Farm. The Campions raise sheep for meat and wool, and their Maremmas protect the flocks from predators such as coyotes, fox and bobcats.
The Campions had brought along a small flock of Katahdin sheep, which shed their wool, precluding the need for shearing. Carol was using the flock to demonstrate the skills of Tam, one of the farm’s herding border collies. “It’s all done with whistles,” said Deb Espinosa, Hampton’s Agricultural Commission Chair. “I could watch this all day, it’s just amazing,” said Espinosa.
This year’s Hampton Farm Day featured a number of other local farmers/growers, including Sylvestre’s Greenhouse, Burr's Farm, Inc., and Three Niece and Safe Haven alpaca farms. “We just want people to know that this is what Hampton has to offer,” said Espinosa.