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Chichester ‘s Garden Club and Agricultural Commission “Backyard Farming” lecture series welcomes Diane Hall-Hersey of Down Home Organics - Workshops in Rural Living - as its speaker.  The topic:  Meeting Gardening Challenges while living with Limited Mobility at 7pm, Wednesday, May 25, 2016, Chichester Town Library Community Room, 161 Main Street.   Open to the public; $10/person and $5/members.

The May 25th “Gardening for the Retired” lecture - Introduction of modified tools and aids to meet the challenges of limited mobility, with doctor’s permission - was designed with the retired citizen in mind, as well as for many disabled who are or want to become gardeners.

Down Home Organics' Workshops in Rural Living out of Franklin NH teach people how to be more self-sufficient for weather emergency or a lifestyle change.  A wide range of workshops - from planning organic vegetable and herb gardens,  composting, herbal teas and recipes to herb harvesting, food preservation, country cooking, alternative energy sources and homesteading (603-848-6555;   Diane offers 16 different organic gardening and sustainability workshops and has a great policy - students receive a discount card so far they get a 10 % discount at Bryant & Lawrence in Tilton and Osborne's Agway in Concord.

Diane comes from a long line of New Hampshire farmers.  Her Great Uncle Ray owned Ried’s Poultry Farm in Bedford, NH, an egg business of some 2,000 Rhode Island Red laying hens.  Ray and his wife Annie, taught Diane the OLD WAYS of the 1930’s – Walton’s Style.

Diane’s Grandmother Hazel, Ray’s sister, was Diane’s primary baby-sitter who shared valuable lost country arts.  Diane watched her Grandmother tend the organic garden and fruit trees; lessons followed in how to garden and cook on the kitchen wood stove.  The rustic Glendale stove provided a challenge and lots of humor.  And so, Diane learned how to live a 1935 rural lifestyle.

In the 1970’s Diane bought her first farmstead and put her country skills into practice.  She cleared land and established organic gardens, as well as owning a waterfowl hatchery.  The farmstead flourished with rabbits, chickens, horses, geese and ducks.  Neighbors, both young and old shared rural skills and time honored traditions.
Diane is now part of the Hersey Farm in East Andover, NH.   It is a working farm of grass-fed Herefords, commercial hay and logging.  She and her husband, Jim Hersey, are building in the woods, at the base of the 350-acre historical farm.  They will offer workshops in woodland Permaculture.  Jim’s brother, Jerry lives in the main farmhouse and runs the farm is a good steward of the land.  Diane is in charge of revitalizing their mother’s organic kitchen garden. There will be classes on-site.

She also plans to raise small farmstead animals again and teach the art of wet-hatching geese & ducks.  It is a healthy New Hampshire country lifestyle, to be appreciated by those who wish to preserve and era gone-by and pass on traditions that would otherwise be lost.

The purpose of an agricultural commission is to protect farmland, support the local agricultural economy, preserve rural character and promote local agriculture to community members and visitors.  As ambassadors of the farming community, agricultural commissions act as educators, advisers and promoters to help keep agriculture viable in New Hampshire.  The Chichester Garden Club’s objective is to encourage more flower and vegetable gardens in Chichester, promote the love of gardening, civic beautification and environmental responsibility through education and example.   

To RSVP or join the garden club, email or leave a message for Ann at 603-903-3891.


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