In many ways the word “sustainability” has become a buzzword. One look at Fortune magazine’s “The Change The World Sustainability All Stars” list is sure to produce eye rolls, as you wade through corporate giants like Walmart and Apple.
In light of that, it’s refreshing to visit a place like The Emery Farm Market & Cafe in Durham, NH. Because, when the sign over the door contains the number 1660, you know you are at ground zero for the “sustainability” movement. As the oldest family owned farm in the United States, words like community are in their DNA, and with all due respect to Fortune’s “Change The World All Stars”, The Emery Farm is far more interested in who will be farming the land 25 years from now, than whether their stockholders should buy or sell.
Walking around the market with Stacey Hamblett, the farm’s Culinary and Wellness Lead, you get the feeling you are taking a master class in community and legacy, where something as simple as the pasta they sell has an inspirational back story and thoughtful, environmentally friendly packaging.
“We like to think of ourselves as an important part of the Cooperative Hub,” says Hamblett, as she approaches a counter full of mouthwatering baked goods, “A crossroads where we are thoughtful about what the land produces. Where many of our employees are graduates with degrees in Sustainability and Environmental Science. Where we source from vendors who pay careful attention to responsible practices”.
Indeed, the food at Emery Farms is always second to none. Whether shopping for household staples, warm donuts, or lunch, their food offerings are original and fresh. How fresh? Recently, Hamblett has been dabbling in winter growing in the greenhouse behind the kitchen. The fruits of her labor are harvested, and in many cases find their way immediately into the daily offerings that are ever evolving.
The Emery Farms is a gem nestled between the seacoast and the University of New Hampshire. It is easily accessible and a landmark for those who care about supporting small businesses with deep local roots . The upstairs is a meeting area dedicated to wellness education, sustainability practices and community workshops.
Listening to Hamblett’s reverence for the land and community, one begins to understand how the farm has flourished for centuries. “Every one who works here has a deep passion for this land,” says Hamblett.
“Whether it’s engaged discussions with the UNH community about our environment, or the careful considerations we are giving to who will be the next generation of farmers to work this land. We are so passionate about this place and this land that we love”.
Emery Farm is located at 147 Piscataqua Rd, Durham, NH 03824. You can find out more about them on their website.