Miles Smith Farm in Loudon NH, is a local treasure where animals are compassionately and consciously raised for community events, a 4H Club, and healthy meat. Owned and operated by Carole Soule and Bruce Dawson, along with their employees, Miles Smith Farm is committed to using sustainable practices for the health of their animals, the education of community, the health of humans who consume their meat, and the improvement of the soil for future generations.
Remember the recent cold snap here in New Hampshire? We visited Carole on one of those frigid days. One of her giant pigs, Sarah, was in labor about to give birth! That day, since the animals live in unheated barns and new born piglets would need extra warmth to survive, the team was in action ensuring they did everything necessary to provide a safe and healthy start for the new piglets about to arrive! Space heaters, the veterinarian, and whatever else it took was put in place fast. As a result, many little piglets joined the family that day (see the photo).
The farm operates every single day year-round to keep the farm going and the animals healthy and happy. There are no days off in the life of farmers like Carole and Bruce. In the 1970s, Carole and her (then) husband, bought the farm and had horses on it. In 2002, she and her (now) husband, Bruce Dawson, and started off with just two cows. At the time, Carole was a vegetarian and it wasn’t until she started raising her own animals that she felt comfortable eating meat. She says, “I didn’t like the idea of feed lots and I don’t eat meat unless I know where and how the animals were raised. People should buy local food.” Today, it is the home to 70 Scottish Highlander cows, several pigs, ducks, geese, and rabbits.
Carole explains how animals have many purposes throughout their lives. “They are loved as pets, they are used to plow the fields, they fertilize the soil which keeps the soil healthy (instead of using chemicals), they make babies, and when it is time, they have a quick ending and supply us with food. We love communicating with the cows. We love meeting their calves when they’re born. Our animals have a great life.”
They use natural farming practices as Miles Smith advocated many years ago. In this way, they support the health of their animals by using the animal’s own fertilizer (manure) instead of chemical fertilizers. From the website, “After about a year of tractor repairs [Carole and Bruce] decided there had to be a better way and asked Miles what he would do. It turns out the old farmer’s ideas still persist to this day, so his advice was taken to heart: Let the animals do the work! The cattle do the work naturally. They till the soil with their hoofs and fertilize the soil with their manure all while eating grass and brush. We sometimes call them our “lawn mooers.”
Miles Smith Farm produces delicious and healthy meats as a result of the dedication and extra efforts made to give their animals the best possible life. To read about the history of the farm, find out about events happening like “Cuddle a Cow Event”, sample tastings, or to plan a visit to the farm, visit: www.milessmithfarm.com.