Current projects & stories

When Young Farmers Acquire More Farmland

More space to raise cows, tap maple trees
Photo of Sam Canonica and Sarah Costa Manning Hill Farm

Sam Canonica and Sarah Costa run Manning Hill Farm in Winchester, N.H. They are known for their pasteurized whole milk available at stores around the region. They also offer grass-fed beef, pasture-raised pork and chicken, and eggs. Their home farm is 126 acres. Yet Sam and Sarah felt they had outgrown the space and wondered how to expand operations.

Just down the road, the nearby Solasz Farm seemed like the perfect place. 167 acres. Open pasture, a woodlot, a sugar bush. A historic house, barns, and outbuildings.

The property had been in the Kulas family since the 1700s, but it recently came under the ownership of Delorma Morton. Delorma, a friend of the late Al Kulas, wanted the land to stay in farming; she was willing to donate a conservation easement and sell the farm to Sam and Sarah.

“I liked Al a whole lot and respected him. I simply did what he wanted to have done. He talked all the time about wanting to see the land stay a farm and not get carved up,” she reflected.

Now Sam and Sarah’s dreams have come true. The land is permanently protected, and the Manning Hill couple is working on restoring the fields for their herd of Dutch belted cows and improving the sugar bush. “It meant a lot to be able to acquire the land at an affordable price, while at the same time honoring what Al wanted for the place,” Sam shared.