Beech Hill Farm, in central New Hampshire, has become one of the most beloved family destinations in New England. This beautiful, historic farm set among stonewalls and hillside corn fields has been the subject of many photographers’ lenses. The Kimball family welcomes you to their ninth-generation family farm in Hopkinton for a truly memorable New Hampshire experience.
Robert Kimball and his wife, Donna, currently live in the Kimball homestead and have diversified the family dairy operation in an effort to preserve the heritage and integrity of one of the longest-running family owned and operated farms in the country. In 1771, the parcel of land now known as Beech Hill Farm was granted to Abraham Kimball by the King of England. Since then, each generation of the Kimball family has been a steward of this family legacy. Beech Hill Farm has undergone many changes over the past years in an effort to preserve the farm’s integrity for future generations.There are currently three generations of the Kimball family actively involved in the operation of Beech Hill Farm & Ice Cream Barn, which is now celebrating its fifteenth year of business. Every family member contributes in some way to its success. Formerly a dairy farm, the newly renovated buildings now serve as an ice cream barn, gardener’s barn, farm museum, picnic area, and pavilion for group gatherings. Robert and Donna own and manage the growing farm stand and ice cream business, continue to raise crops and maintain all of the conservation land and farm buildings. Robert’s lifelong dream of owning his own ice cream business became a reality in 1997. Donna’s Farm House baked goods are produced on the premises in her commercial bakery. She has been baking breads, cookies and her famous apple pound cakes for more than 30 years. Donna is also responsible for the attractive displays that people enjoy in the farm stand.
Highlights of a visit to Beech Hill Farm include choosing from over 75 flavors of delicious New England-made premium ice cream, lowfat yogurts, sherbet, sorbets, and no fat/no sugar ice creams. All ages love the “Make Your Own Sundae Bar” with over 20 tempting toppings.
“People can get pretty creative when they order,” says Nate Kimball-Barr, a ninth generation Kimball. “Just the other day I scooped a Bear Claw, Strawberry Cheesecake and Apple Crisp banana split!”
Some families head straight for the animals when they get to the farm. There are baby goats, Shetland sheep, friendly calves, pigs, ponies, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits and “Buckwheat” the miniature donkey. Children learn the names of all of their barnyard friends and often want to see their favorites before they get their ice cream.
From August to the end of October there are three different corn mazes for people to explore. Each maze is approximately 4 four acres and is designed by eighth generation family member Holly Kimball and her husband, Peter. There are new themes every year and each maze has its own scavenger hunt brochure that will challenge folks to find answers hidden in the corn fields. This is great outdoor entertainment and brings school groups, families and organizations back year after year for another “Amaizing Adventure!”
For those who appreciate plants there is always a seasonal bounty available in the Garden Barn. In the spring there are hundreds of beautiful hanging baskets, many of them planted by Holly. One of her signature English baskets is in the shape of a cone and customers are delighted by these arrangements hanging from the pergola outside the farm stand entrance. Perennials, herbs, annuals and combination patio pots are creatively displayed in and around antique wagons throughout the garden barn.
In the fall, harvest festivals are hosted by local organizations and fill the big, red activity barn with sounds of fiddlers and banjos. Mums in every color fill the farmyard along with piles of pumpkins. Horse-drawn wagon rides take trips through the maple orchard where the scenery is resplendent with steamy autumn foliage. Inside the farm stand are many traditional New England products and preserves including locally made maple syrup, fudge, kettle corn, honey, jams, pickles and freshly baked pies.
Beech Hill Farm has won several awards including New Hampshire Farm of Distinction and "Best of New England" destination by Boston Magazine/New England Travel!
Article Written and Submitted by Holly Kimball, Hopkinton, NH. For more more information and directions to Kimball Farm visit http://www.beechhillfarm.com/
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