About

Mack Hill Farm was originally located in Marlow, in southwest New Hampshire. <1--The image used at the top of the page is a shot that Frank took in the summer of 2004. I submitted it to a People, Places, Plants photo contest and we won, in the “place” category that year.–>

In the Fall of 2012, we moved all of our animals to a new little place on 16 acres in Windsor, Vermont.

In the Spring of 2015 we moved to a few acres in Kirbyville MO. The previous winter was the worst in 90 years in the Connecticut Valley, and we just weren’t up for any more. The plow guy gave up on our hill. If you’re from the North Country you know what that means.

We brought our birds, and the goats, but that’s all. Fortunately we got electric fence in first, so the dogs and the goats stay in. We also brought our woven wire fence which I’m slowly putting up to keep the birds in.

We had a rock farm in Marlow. That means that rocks are your best crop. Here in the Ozarks, rocks aren’t a crop, rocks are the land. You have to raise soil before you can raise any other crop. Raised beds and bird poop are slowly doing this.

Currently we have a small flock of fainting goats and chickens, ducks and geese. We like the fainting goats because they’re timid homebodies.


The journal dates back to 2000 and reflects a gradual change from ‘pretty’ gardening to trying to be a paying farm. Older images were stored locally in a Gallery II installation which is now unfortunately down, newer ones are hosted on Flickr.

As the mood strikes we’re cataloging our book collection on LibraryThing. It’s fun comparing our tags and collections with those of others, and the shelving information alone is worth the $25 lifetime membership.

16 Comments

  1. Posted January 24, 2007 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Great website!

  2. Posted February 12, 2007 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    What a lovely blog!
    We sold our farm a year and a half ago and I miss my animals. Now we live on an apple farm downstate and there are sheep and cattle, but, really, it’s not the same as when they’re yours.

    Have you raised pigs before? You think your sheep are tricky, wait until the pigs get there!!! The happiest day of the year for me was always the day the pigs went to the butcher! Fiendishly clever, they are!

    Well, thanks for letting me peak in at your farm.
    God bless.
    Terri

  3. Asta Helgason
    Posted March 9, 2007 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Wow! I am very impressed, your garden is making me long to see it in person! As the person above said, I cannot wait until our piggies g to the butcher! Love the Icelandic Chickens and sheep!
    Asta Helgason

  4. Posted April 25, 2007 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    I have dairy goats instead of sheep but other than that we seem to have a lot in common, from the Rex Stout books to the Crochet Guild. I’ve been wanting some Tamworth hogs for a long time. Just not enough room here right now.

  5. Posted September 5, 2007 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    With an antique spinning wheel and donated loom, we are just now learning the trade. Do you use a diz and crochet hook to spin? Do you have a diz for sale?

  6. nancy
    Posted November 6, 2007 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Do you have any turkeys for sale for this Thanksgiving? – google lists you, but I don’t see any on your web site.
    Thanks! And keep on doing what you’re doing!

  7. Steve Schaefer
    Posted November 28, 2007 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    Hi,
    Found you guys on Linked in actually, just wanted to commend you on your sheep dairying plans. I am amazed how many people are starting to milk sheep. I remember back in the early 90’s when Hollow Road Dairy was the only commercial sheep dairy in the US. Good luck. And make great cheese

    Sincerely,

    Steve Schaefer

  8. katie
    Posted August 6, 2008 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lisa
    Your place is booming! Wow! The pics are great! I can’t wait to see the recipes.
    Ps…. Could you ask your apprentice Kel to email/call her mom?
    Thanks!

  9. Susan Jones
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    I would love to purchase some Icelandic chicks . I have been looking for them for well over a year now. I learned you are able hatch chicks for customers with a $25.00 deposit and $4.00 per chick charge plus 12.50 for total shipping. I think they are the most beautiful birds.
    Please feel free to call me if need be.
    Thank you so much.
    Susan

    • Frank
      Posted May 9, 2010 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Susan,

      We should be able to start a batch for you late this week. The clutch in there now will be at 21 days on Tuesday.

  10. Ethan Fithen
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    I am interested in buying some Icelandic chicks. I just bought a pair of adult birds from a guy who bought them from Behl farms. I would be very interested in some chicks to add more variety to my very small flock. Please let me know what I need to do to purchase them. Email me if there are any concerns.
    Thanks,

    Ethan Fithen

  11. Carol Derlak
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Hello, I am a hugh dog fanatic! I teach children with special needs and have an absolutely wonderful theapy dog, a Shetland Sheepdog. But alas, he is 11 years old an gettin tired. I am looking for a Islandic Sheepdog because of their love of children. I would love to hear more about your future puppies and the types of socialization you use with them. I am VERY impressed with all you have done and would be honored to be cosidered as a candidate for a future puppy. Thank you, Carol

  12. Posted November 9, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi Carol. Lots of pictures of our first litter are here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanh/sets/72157623292270620/

    We had such a great time with them and are thrilled with how they all turned out. I don’t know how much of it is how we raised them, the super puppy stuff we did in the first days of their lives, and just the quality of their parents, but it sure seemed to make some good pups!

    We’ll be breeding Disa to another Black and White tri in January. Three of those puppies are spoken for, and I have started a list for the rest and you are number two on that list!

    Are you on Facebook? I update pretty frequently there and all of the people who bought the first litter sometimes post pictures of them there, too.

    http://www.facebook.com/mackhillfarm

  13. Maja Lewandowska-Anbar
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Hello,

    My name is Maja Lewandowska-Anbar and I am a student at Cambridge College in Lawrence, MA. I am conducting research on the impact of climate change on Northeastern agriculture for my Independent Learning Project for my Master’s degree thesis.

    As a local farmer, I was wondering if you would be willing and able to help me with providing information on this topic. I am particularly looking for opinions and observations that are supported by data over the past several years. I could also conduct an interview via e-mail so it could be completed at your convenience.

    I am looking forward to your response.
    Thank you very much in advance for your support,
    Maja
    978-521-1620

    • Frank
      Posted June 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Maja,

      I’ve lived here for 20 years although I didn’t start farming until 2004. In that time, our reliable frost free growing season has lengthened from June 1-September 1 to May 15-Sept 15.

      We have also developed a pattern of cool wet springs, and long warm falls. The maple sap now starts running at the end of February instead of the middle of March, and instead of a white Thanksgiving and the snow lasting till Spring, we don’t get snow that lasts until mid or late December. Fortunately our white Christmas does not seem to be threatened yet.

      Also, our winter lows seem to have ameliorated by about 10 degrees. When I bought this place (1986) , a normal winter hit -25F, and a cold one -30. We reached -20F last January for the first time since January 2000.

      Fortunately all the climate change we have seen has been beneficial. We have moved from hardiness zone 4 to zone 5, which is a very big deal in terms of the number of plant species that can survive our winters. The extra month of growing season doesn’t so much increase the number of garden crops we can grow, but it drastically increases the yield of the warm weather crops. We can now expect six weeks instead of four of sweet corn, tomatoes and peppers. There does seem to be a pattern of more rain in the spring and less in the summer, but so far the pastures have held up, and we can water the garden.

      Frank

      Please feel free to email

  14. Amy
    Posted July 1, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I am wondering if you ever have any sheep milk for sale. I have found a wonderful local source of goat milk that I pick up every weekend 🙂 however I would also like to find sheep’s milk. Since it is a *very* small industry here in NH, I am hoping to find farms such as yours that may have a little left over after their own use (I know you seem to have fleece/wool use sheep). But I thought I would check. Thank you so much – I’ve enjoyed your site!

    Amy

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*
*

  • Recent Posts

  • Lisa’s Twitter Stream

    Follow @LisaMackhill on twitter.

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Meta

  • Google site search

    Custom Search