“We wanted the farm to remain a farm — and to have Tendercrop Farm so close was the perfect match. Just to see cows back at the farm means a lot to the entire family,” Pikul said.
Kozazcki said he’s looking forward to the day when he can provide the public with fresh milk and other local dairy products from his new Rowley location.
But first he wants to get the Dover site up and running again. In addition to offering the same types of fresh fruits and vegetables he does at the Newbury farm, Kozazcki plans to move production of pies and other baked goods up north into the Dover farm’s more expansive bakery. He also dreams of making his own cold cuts and offering home-cured ham and bacon.
Down the road he hopes to eventually have apple orchards and other attractions that draw people to visit the farm so — like the original Tendercrop Farm — it becomes a familiar and comfortable part of the community up north.
John Tuttle established the first 20 acres of the Tuttle Farm in 1613 with a land grant from King Charles II of England. The operation expanded over time and 11 generations of Tuttles have farmed it since 1638.
To help protect its status as farmland, in 2007, the Strafford Rivers Conservancy purchased a conservation easement on the farm from owner Will Tuttle for $2.79 million. The city of Dover chipped in $1.195 million, along with $1.34 million from New Hampshire Department of Transportation and $155,643 from the Federal Farm and Ranchland Protection Program.
Praising the partnership between the Tuttles and city, state and federal agencies, Kozazcki plans to commemorate their contributions to the sustainability of local agriculture with a plaque at the Red Barn.
Although he acknowledges the dominance of corporate farming in America and can’t foresee a return to a time when independent farmers produce all the food consumed in the New England region, Kozazcki still believes it’s imperative for those who can, to do their part to preserve the functionality of local farmland.