Worth Knowing: The incredibly cool D Acres in Dorchester
There’s a pretty special placed tucked away down a dirt road in Dorchester, NH that you should go see. It’s the non-profit D Acres of New Hampshire, a permaculture farm and educational homestead that grows countless crops, offers a residential program, works with local schools and organizations, welcomes you to use its hiking trails, offers a hostel option, and hosts community meals, potlucks, tastings, workshops, yoga classes, and multiple other mission-related events. So what is its mission? Its mission is to serve as an educational center that researches, applies and teaches skills of sustainable living and small-scale organic farming. Founded in 1997 by Josh Trought, D Acres is a remarkable operation. (You can read a little about Josh Trought here.)
Set upon approximately 200 acres, D Acres consists of a collection of buildings and gardens and trails. The main building was completed in 2000. This building houses D Acres’ largest kitchen and community dining room, several function rooms, multiple bedrooms, a library, a yoga studio, an arts and crafts room, and a root cellar and basement that are loaded with everything from rutabaga and beets to curing prosciutto, scores of dried herbs and countless jars of preserves, fruits and vegetables. All of the heat for the building comes from wood or solar power, and it has a composting toilet. There are plenty of other buildings on D Acres with more housing, a blacksmith shop, greenhouses, etc.
Just a small portion of the food in the basement
D Acres accepts applications from people to come live and work on the farm in its Residency Program. The residential program is designed as a hands-on practical experience in farming and sustainable living. Although there is no set curriculum, individuals participate in the seasonal duties pertinent to the farm operations. They receive instruction and supervision as necessary in the day-to-day workings of the homestead. In addition to the scheduled required hours, all members of the community participate in basic tasks such as meal preparation, community meetings, and housekeeping in the community building. And residents can focus on what they like doing, be it blacksmithing, woodworking, preserving food, etc. It may even be possible to get college credit working with D Acres's PhD faculty member. As Trought said, some people come to the Residency Program for 6 weeks, some come for 6 months and some stay for years.
One of many sitting areas
Got plans for breakfast Sunday, May 6? Well consider going to D Acre First Sunday Farm Feast breakfast. On the first Sunday of each month, D Acres welcomes the public to the farm to enjoy a feast that is mostly sourced from its fields, gardens, chicken coops and pig styes. Normally between 100 and 120 people attend this monthly event. The cost is a suggested donation of $5-$15 per person and you’ll get a chance to see the whole operation afterwards if you’d like.
How about Friday night pizza and movies? Well mark May 11 off on your calendar and plan to get over to D Acres for a night of home made pizza with freshly made dough and multiple farm-grown toppings served at 6:00 pm-ish and a movie or so starting at 7:00 pm--ish. The cost for this is a suggested donation of $5-$15 per person.
In addition to First Sunday Breakfast and Second Friday Pizza-Movie
night, D Acres hosts several other special events monthly and annually. There's a monthly Pot Luck and Open Mic Night on the last Friday of every month, a monthly Volunteer Day on the last Saturday of every month and a very
popular Valentine’s Day Dinner. You ought to try them all.
It’s worth knowing that Green Woodlands, famous for offering miles and miles of incredible Nordic skiing on groomed trails, is opening up 20 miles of mountain biking trails that spill onto D Acres’ land. These trails can be accessed from Green’s or from D Acres.
Tons of mountain biking trails
We could go on forever about the things that are on D Acres,
the things that D Acres does with the community and the Dorchester resources
that D Acres relies on and promotes, but we won’t. You should really just go see
it for yourself.
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