Environmentalism is not new for our family; it’s a way of life. Most, if not all of the following practices our family has been doing for the majority of our lives. Ingrained within our environmental ethos is a firm understanding of community, and our responsibility to preserve, protect, and enhance the natural wealth of our surroundings for future generations.
Experience an Educational Farm Stay with Your Family
Our Environmental Philosophy
Walpole Valley Farms is an organic farm offering green bed and breakfast lodging to guests who want to experience farm life, interact with farm animals, and learn about local sustainable agriculture. Enjoy this unique opportunity in New England to learn about and experience our farmstay.
Our farm was certified organic in 1998 when we purchased it, which means no chemical fertilizers or pesticide sprays have been used on any of our 105 acres since at least 1995. Instead, we use crop and animal rotation and focus on building healthy soils to prevent insects and disease from devastating any of our crops.
Additionally, since the opening of our bed and breakfast in the fall of 1999, we’ve taken many steps to create green travel accommodations. We want to ensure that our impact on our local and global environment is as little as reasonably possible, while still providing our guests the special comforts they expect and deserve. Because environmental stewardship is important to so manyof our guests, we’ve outlined some of our practices below.
- We strive to consume food grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones; so we grow as much of our own food as possible. It is that same food we use to prepare breakfast at the Inn including our own pastured organic eggs, produce, herbs, edible flowers, and fruit. Our breakfast menu always centers around what’s fresh and in season to make use of our own as well as other local foods. What we don’t grow ourselves we try and purchase from neighbors who share our same values as much as possible.
- Organically grown food is healthier for our guests, the environment, and us, as no chemical fertilizers or pesticides have been used to produce it. Purchasing food locally means higher returns for local farmers and less mileage the food has to travel to get to its destination, which translates to reduced fossil fuel consumption and fresher food. Fresher food contains more vitamins and minerals and is therefore more nutritious.
- In the Inn, we use fair-trade organic coffee air-roasted by a local company, Pierce Brothers Coffee. A fine selection of organic teas is also always available.
- Our animals enjoy much of the food waste generated by our guests as well as kitchen prep. What cannot be fed to the animals (coffee grinds, egg shells, etc.) is composted with yard waste, animal manure and bedding to enrich our garden soil the following year.
- We donate our excess produce bounty to local soup kitchens and food pantries as well as our used or excess items such as dishes, towels, and sheets.
- All natural, biodegradable, environmentally friendly cleaning products (Seventh Generation, Life Tree, Mrs. Meyers, and Ecover) including dish soap, laundry detergent, all-purpose and glass cleaners are used throughout the property, virtually eliminating the use of “traditional” cleaning chemicals. Removing harsh chemical cleaners from the farm makes a safer indoor environment for our guests as well as reducing environmental impact. Further, these products are purchased in bulk whenever possible, saving fossil fuels used in the production of plastic containers and the transportation necessary to get them here.
- We exclusively use Seventh Generation toilet paper, tissues, and unbleached paper towels throughout our property. We provide organic shampoo, conditioner, and liquid hand soap in refillable dispensers as well as NH made Jenness Farm goat milk soap in all our guest rooms.
- Recycled content paper is used for all copy paper, Inn stationery, and guest notepads.
- Guest towels are organic cotton and sheets, as we replace them, are organic cotton as well.
- Guest bed linens and towels are changed by request and for each new guest. This significantly reduces water and detergent use. Only full loads of laundry are washed and cold water is used for washing whenever possible further reducing environmental impact.
- Energy efficient appliances and fixtures are installed whenever a new purchase is made.
- Compact fluorescent bulbs use less energy and last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, so we use them throughout the Inn, cottages, and farmhouse minimizing our use of energy as well as the number of electric bulbs being disposed.
- We recycle all newspaper, cardboard, mixed paper, aluminum, glass, and 1-7 plastic whenever possible and encourage our guests to do the same. Additionally, we are constantly reclaiming materials from one project to use on another.
- We have created an on-site interpretive center that is available to all visitors explaining the many sustainable practices they can see first-hand on our farm.
- Our gardens have been transitioned to "no-till," which means they never get tilled (mechanically or otherwise). By not tilling the soil we avoid disrupting nature's natural layering of the soil, improve soil productivity, greatly reduce the need for watering, and significantly reduce the amount of weeds and therefore weeding!
- Our commitment to a grazing practice for our animals called intensive rotational grazing not only provides our herds and flocks with a wider selection of grasses and therefore nutrition, but increases the productivity of our soils without the use of any fossil fuel-derived fertilizers.
- Dozens of varieties of produce, herbs, and edible flowers are labeled in our extensive organic gardens with key information giving guests a first-hand experience with "local food."
- Our Cottages and Sunnyside Farmhouse all have full kitchens where we have placed recipes to further encourage guests to try new varieties of seasonal produce, herbs, and edible flowers that we grow, in their meals during their stay. Our pastured meats are available for sale at the farm as well and can be cooked on the grills provided. A walk to Alyson’s Orchard allows guests an opportunity to pick their own fruit in season and fashion a dessert to top off their “local” meal - it doesn't get much better (or more local) than this!
- Guests are encouraged to compost their own food waste generated on-site during their stay in our three-bin compost system. A sign hanging above the compost bins educates guests on what can and cannot be added to our compost.