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Oldest Farm In America
Many North American farms have been in one family for several generations, but imagine one that's been in the same family for 10 generations.
That's how long the Tuttle Farm near Dover, N.H., has been in Hugh Tuttle's family. After 363 years, it's reportedly the oldest farm in North America - and possibly the Western Hemisphere - to remain in the hands of one family, according to historians.
"People come from all over the U.S., Canada and Mexico - even Europe - to buy fresh vegetables and canned goods at our roadside store. ŠLife' magazine even did a 10-page spread on us in 1974," Hugh Tutle told FARM SHOW.
"Our farm has been transferred exclusively from father-to-son ever since John Tuttle first settled here in 1632 with a land grant for 15 acres from Charles I of En-gland."
Hugh Tuttle now raises 18 different vegetable crops on the 245-acre farm, which is home to 12 greenhouses. Home-grown fresh vegetables represent only about 5% of what the Tuttles sell at their year-around roadside store, however. In addition, they sell ornamental plants. And their recently expanded store, called the Red Barn, now also features a deli and bakery. Another expansion is in the works to handle all the traffic the place attracts.
"It's become a pretty complex business, nothing like farming was when the Tuttles planted their first crop," notes Tuttle, who's "semi-retired" but still handles the planting and harvesting chores.
Son William Penn Tuttle III, and daughters Rebecca and Lucy, are slated to take over the farm when Tuttle retires. That'll be the 11th generation of Tuttles on the farm, and there are undoubtedly a couple of farmers among the members of the 12th generation who have already been born, says Hugh's wife Joan.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Hugh and Joan Tuttle, Tuttle Farm, Dover, N.H. 03820.


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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #2