Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Celebrating Wildflowers at The Rocks Estate

Summer tends to be fleeting here in northern New England, so we enjoy every minute of it! To kick off the season – and the annual Fields of Lupine FestivalThe Rocks Estate will celebrate its 32nd Annual Wildflower Festival June 2.
Pink Lady's Slipper at The Rocks Estate

If you’d like to learn more about botany, are wondering which wildflowers and plants are edible, or just love to roam the woods and enjoy nature’s beauty, the Wildflower Festival has something you’ll love!

Several workshops and tours are planned to entertain and educate visitors throughout the day, including birding walks through the historic Rocks Estate, a discussion on identifying various wildflowers, and the Floral Edibles workshop, where participants will learn which local native plants are edible – from fiddleheads and rhubarb to wild leeks and Johnnie Jump-Ups – and how to incorporate them into delicious meals at home.

Walks along the Mile Path, which is open only to guided tours, will also be offered during the Festival. The Mile Path meanders through the Estate, where the Glessner family, original owners of The Rocks, collected and planted an array of flowers. Guides will highlight the rich history of the Glessner family, who summered here beginning in the late 1880s, and the natural world they loved so much. The Mile Path walks are limited to 15 people per tour and fill quickly, so reservations are strongly advised. 

The Wildflower Festival runs this Saturday, June 2, from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. The cost for the day-long Wildflower Festival is $15 and includes lunch and all programs. A $5 discount is given with each lupine festival book presented. For more information or to make reservations, please email us at info@therocks.orgor give us a call at (603) 444-6228.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A whirlwind trip to D.C. - All in the day of a tree farmer!

Rocks Estate manager Nigel Manley took a whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C., last month, in his role as chairman of the Christmas Spirit Foundation (CSF), which organizes the Trees For Troops program. 

The Foundation was one of 20 organizations recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden as finalists in the inaugural Joining Forces Community Challenge.

Joining Forces is a national initiative to provide military service members opportunity and support in areas including employment, education, and wellness. The Joining Forces Campaign was launched in April 2011.

The Trees For Troops program provides farm grown Christmas trees to military families serving at home and abroad. Since 2005, Trees For Troops has delivered over 100,000 Christmas trees. More than 700 tree farms contribute to the program, and The Rocks Estateis a proud participant.

“It’s an honor to be a part of the Trees For Troops effort,” said Manley. “I personally find the program to be a very rewarding way for farmers to give back to men and women who are giving their all for the country.”

Manley and CSF Assistant Director Amy Mills joined other honorees for a ceremony at the White House April 10. They also visited the Pentagon for a reception with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Vice President Biden.

Manley was in Washington for just over 24 hours, returning to New Hampshire in time to attend a board meeting for the New Hampshire Travel Council, of which he is a member. 

It's all in the day of a tree farmer!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sowing the seed(ling)s and other Summer Fun

Planting from a bucket of saplings.
We’ve been busy this spring at The Rocks Estate planting saplings and fertilizing all 52,000 Christmas trees we have growing on the farm. 

In April we planted 4,000 Fraser fir and Canaan fir seedlings, which will grow into full-sized Christmas trees over the next 6-9 years. Next on the to-do list was fertilizing all the trees we have growing in various fields around The Rocks.

Even with Christmas many months in the future, we’re busy taking care of our trees in the field nearly all year ’round! Later this summer we’ll tackle the annual hands-on job of topping and shearing the trees to ensure they’ll continue to grow into full, beautiful, well-proportioned Christmas trees.

There’s plenty of summer activity beyond tending to the trees at The Rocks Estate, too. We’re gearing up for our 32nd Annual Wildflower Festival on June 2 and the official opening of our Wildlife Habitat Trail at Bretzfelder Park the following week. Check our online calendar for more information. 

We also have weddings lined up through the summer, as well as a variety of groups coming to the farm for customized tours and talks on topics ranging from formal gardens and local heritage to maple sugaring and the wildlife living on and around the farm. To learn more about the array of experiential tours and educational programs at The Rocks, please visit our website

As always, our trails are open in every season, from dawn ’til dusk, so come on up and visit The Rocks this summer – we’d love to see you!