It's a rainy July afternoon in the southern New Hampshire town of Gilmanton, and Charles Price is enjoying one of the fringe benefits of farming: He's eating steak. "We had a milker that was having problems, and we needed some beef in the freezer, so it worked out pretty good," he chuckles.
It's been working out pretty good for five generations of Prices who have been farming these 430-acres since the property was gifted to Charles" great-great-great grandfather as a wedding present in 1845. The early Price farmers pretty much stuck to raising beef, but Charles' father slowly transitioned to dairy. Today, the Price Farm milks 75 head, sells saw logs and firewood, and operates a 700-tap sugarbush. "I've always worked here," says Charles. "I haven't worked anywhere else. I haven't had the time." He can usually be found laboring alongside his son, Jon, and his wife, Marie.
Actually, there are three generations of the Price family working on the farm. In her 80s, Charles' mother, Pauline, still rises at 5:00 am to help keep the farm running smoothly. "I like to keep the milk room swept and the windows washed," says Pauline. "I like to keep the place looking very nice." Indeed, Pauline has been keeping the farm tidy for nearly 70 years, ever since she and her husband moved onto the property in 1938. "I loved raising my kids on a farm. They grew up to be nice kids," says Pauline. "It really has been a good life."
In his 60s, Charles has a few years to go before he matches his mother's seven decades on the farm, but he's already holding onto his favorite recollections. "I often think about the family getting together, coming to the farm at Christmas and Thanksgiving. Those are good times. Those are good memories."