Hot chicks, bees knees, alpacas and more at annual NH Farm, Forest and Garden Expo

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Members of the NH Cluckers Poultry Club, Sydney Ekis, Kaden Tremblay, Bryce Tremblay, and Andrew Lorentzen show off some special chickens. Photo/Kathy Staub

MANCHESTER, NH — On a chilly winter Saturday hundreds of people, who were thinking about all the great things New Hampshire has to offer during the warmer months, descended on the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Manchester for the 37th annual NH Farm, Forest, and Garden Expo. 

This year, New Hampshire Farm and Forest has made a change to its title to reflect the important work the organization is doing in gardens throughout the state. The organization will now be referred to New Hampshire Farm, Forest, and Garden. More than one hundred exhibitors were on hand educating the public about a wide range of topics including spotting invasive species, barn maintenance, how to raise bees, and what our state parks have to offer.

A couple of hot chicks at the 2020 NH Farm, Forest, and Garden Expo. Photo/Kathy Staub

Throughout the day on February 14 and 15 seminars were offered on chainsaw safety, rearing dairy goats, getting your hydrangeas to bloom, and a host of other topics. 

Emma Miner, NH Miss Agriculture USA, takes a break from scooping ice cream at the NH Farm, Forest, and Garden Expo. Photo/Kathy Staub

NH 4-H had multiple exhibits staffed by their young members. The NH Cluckers Poultry Club is located in Hudson, NH, but includes youngsters from throughout Southern NH. They brought some of their award-winning chickens. Elsewhere 4-H rabbits were on exhibit and Emma Miner, NH Miss Agriculture USA, was scooping ice cream. Miner is a Sophomore at UNH where she is studying Animal Science. 


A number of farms were represented, including Nodrog Farms located in Barrington, NH. Megan Long was at the Expo along with Bailey and Kodiak, two of the ten alpacas who live at the farm. They also collect and process fleece from other alpacas whose owners keep them as pets. Long says that alpaca yarn is a good choice for people who can’t wear wool. Alpacas produce less lanolin and their fleece includes fewer of the coarse guard hairs that make wool so itchy. 

Alpacas Kodiak and Bailey of Nodrog Farms in Barrington, NH. Photo/Kathy Staub

A colorful selection of alpaca yarn from Nodrog Farms. Photo/Kathy Staub

Kevin Lefebre of the NH Beekeepers Association was on hand to offer advice to people interested in raising bees. The association is a collection of regional beekeeping clubs that meet regularly around the state. Lefebre says people are not tied to a particular region.  “They are welcome to join any of the clubs that meet their needs. Sometimes, the meeting times are more convenient or the approach is more what they are looking for.”

Falconer Cody Cox and Ember, a trained Harris’s hawk. Photo/Kathy Staub

Falconer Cody Cox, along with several students from the NH School of Falconry, were introducing Expo goers to the sport of falconry and several trained birds that they brought with them. Cox was holding Ember, a captive bred Harris’s hawk that is normally found only in the southwestern United States. Falcons are used to hunt small animals and birds like grouse, pheasant, rabbits and squirrels. 

Throughout the exhibit hall there were activities for children, locally produced goods from NH farms, tractors, and demonstrations of rug braiding, timber framing, and wool spinning. If you weren’t able to make it this year, the Farm, Forest and Garden Expo will be back next year.


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