NEWBURY — Think globally, act locally — so the saying goes. But for one Newbury farmer it’s more than mere words — it’s a blueprint for how he runs his business and lives his life.
Compelled by a belief that saving local farmland for farming is good for the New England region, Matt Kozazcki, owner of Tendercrop Farm, Inc. on High Road, recently purchased one of the oldest family-owned farms in the country — the Tuttle Farm in Dover, N.H.
After 375 years of tilling the soil on Dover Point that lies between the Bellamy and Piscataqua rivers, the Tuttle family put their farm up for sale in July 2010. The asking price was $3.35 million.
In October Kozazcki paid $1.25 million for the 135-acre parcel, which includes a 10,000-square-foot farm stand built in 1987 adjoining the original New England-style red barn.
Although the land has been idle for a while, Kozazcki hopes to have the place ready for the public and operating under the name Tendercrop at the Red Barn by mid-December.
In September he also entered into a lease to purchase the 165 acres known as Pikul Farm in Rowley, which he eventually hopes to transform into Tendercrop Farm, Dairy and Beef.
Despite a spate of public debate over the past month regarding reports of cows in distress after separation from their calves at the former Sunshine Dairy Farm (where Kozazcki raises black Angus cattle) he emphasized that currently he runs strictly a beef — not a dairy — operation. The Pikul Farm, which has been a hay-only producing farm since 2010, was family-owned and operated as a dairy farm for more than 60 years.
“Some people may remember the Pikul Ice Cream stand where you could buy two milk shakes for 25 cents,” said Donna Pikul.
“When the decision was made to sell the farm, there were developers interested in the land, which would result in the tearing down of all buildings and barns,” including a 10-station milking parlor installed in the 1990s.