Assist New Milford in protecting and preserving our surviving farmlands

Mayapple Hill Farm, CSA


Nick and Linda Pouder always envisioned themselves as homesteaders, but they found themselves harvesting more vegetables than they needed to feed a family of four.

He is a landscape architect and adjunct professor at Rhode Island School of Design.  She is a fulltime graphic designer. Yet, five years ago, they fund the time and energy to start a small CSA at their four-acre farm, Mayapple Hill, at 228 Merryall Road in New Milford—and, today, it is thriving.

“It all started with one large garden. We thought we would just grow enough for ourselves and for our neighbors, “ says Nick. The garden was prolific, and a small-scale CSA proved the perfect solution for the excess.

Nick and Linda now grow about 90 different varieties of vegetables in a pesticide-free 2/3-acre plot for 20 shareholder families.  In addition, they sell fresh produce to the New Milford Hospital’s food service.

It all started with one large garden. We thought we would just grow enough for ourselves and for our neighbors.

The Pouders also raise grass-fed lambs, pigs, and broiler and layer hens, and they are revitalizing an old apple orchard. When the orchard is fully restored, they expect to harvest 8,000 pounds of apples annually from three dozen trees.

The next step in the farm’s evolution is to market the farm additional products, says Nick, who maintains a blog:

Sheep and alpaca yarn, soap, maple syrup, eggs, sheep-skin rugs, and USDA-certified and processed pork, lamb and chicken are among other offerings sold at the farm.

“For a small farm, the CSA is a great model, especially because it assures that our customers get freshly harvested vegetables, yet we can spread our workload out more evenly over the week. We’re not rushing to pick everything for one market day, or leaving it on a stand to wilt.”

The Pouders’ land has been farmed since 1825 and they expect to continue that agricultural tradition. Their land surrounds the handsome white Italianate Victorian farmhouse, renovated by the Pouders.  It was previously owned by the Smyrski family, who preserved 215 acres of farmland across from where Nick, Linda and their two daughters now make their home.

We didn’t plan on starting a commercial venture; it just evolved into it, “ says Nick. “We thought, ‘Hey, we’ve got this piece of land, now let’s do something with it’.”