Welcome to Cheshire Garden, a small family farm nestled in the rolling hills of southwestern New Hampshire. We've been farming organically for more than 35 years, specializing in heirloom berries, fruits and herbs. We began selling preserves at farmers' markets when we realized it was a way to turn our delicate and perishable berries into something that could be enjoyed year round.
Cheshire Garden was born in 1986, when I joined Ralph here in Winchester and went right to work planting raspberries and strawberries, fruits I adore and had grown on my first farm. That summer, our friend Rich DiMatteo gave us a drawing of our cat, Rita, bringing strawberries in from the garden to celebrate the successful transplanting of both the berries and me.
Because we grow our own fruit for our preserves, we're harvesting something almost every day from June through frost. There's no extra time to make preserves then, so we carefully freeze the fruit. In a good year, we fill seven freezers which we help power using photovoltaics (solar panels). We make our preserves to order as we need them, and in winter heat our house from the steam given off by the simmering fruit. It's a beautiful system!
In 1987 Cheshire Garden was one of the first farms in New Hampshire to be certified organic. We were certified organic from 1987 through 2005, but have decided to no longer participate in the federal program because of voluminous paperwork and escalating fees.
Nothing has changed in the way we farm or choose the ingredients we have to source. (We use organic mustard seed in our mustards and organic sugar in our preserves, for example.)
We are very happy to answer any questions about our farm or how we grow our fruits and vegetables organically. After all, we've been doing it for more than 35 years and have lots of tips to share. (The Patti's Garden page often
includes seasonal tips.)
We try to offer something very special - food grown carefully and prepared
lovingly - each jar and bottle is homegrown and handmade.
To your health, with love,
Patti Powers and Ralph Legrande
P.S. Check out the News
from Patti's Garden! (Updated November 27, 2012)