About the People and the place that is North Family Farm
This is a painting by artist Roger Gagne of the Canterbury Shakers North Family as it was in the late eighteen hundreds. The Shakers are a religious sect based on the teachings of their founder Ann Lee. They are also an experiment in communal living, attempting to create “heaven on earth” away from the influence of the “outside world. There were Shaker communities scattered around the eastern United States including one here in Canterbury, NH. The sole remaining active community is at Sabbathday Lake, Maine. During the early nineteen hundreds, the numbers of Shakers declined and many of the villages were closed and the property sold. In1950 our family purchased a portion of the Canterbury Shaker Village. The remaining portion of the Canterbury Shaker Village, including most of its original buildings, is now a museum. It is definitely worth a visit in person or on line at Canterbury Shaker Village.
The photo below is of our North Family Farm as it looks today. Most of the buildings and all of the Canterbury Shakers are now gone, yet we remain linked to them through our memories and traces of their lifetimes of work and worship here on this land.
Our family operated a dairy farm here from 1950 to 1959, then ran Horizon’s Edge School until 1974 when the school moved to its own campus, and the current generation of farming here began. Since 1974, we have operated a diverse series of farm enterprises including a small retail Jersey dairy, breeding and training Percheron draft horses, growing organic vegetables, growing various grain crops, and milling lumber. Currently our crops are hay, firewood, timber, and maple products. The photo below shows us from left to right, Tim Meeh, Daimon Meeh, Gemini Meeh and Jill McCullough as we are awarded New Hampshire’s 2011 Outstanding Tree Farm for 50 years of sustainable timber management on our woodlot.
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