Jennifer and Andre Gagne relocated to Charlotte in 2010 to get away from the snow up north and to be closer to family.
“We got tired of the hustle and bustle of Charlotte,” Andre Gagne said. “We were in a country setting in New Hampshire and missed it. Jenn saw this house when it first came on the market and after we drove past it, we both said at the same time, ‘yes, that’s it.’”
The couple purchased the 1910 farmhouse situated on five acres of land on Old Plank Road in Iron Station and christened it “Hampton Hills Farm.”
“We always had huge gardens,” Jennifer Gagne said. “We always loved growing our own food. We did it in New Hampshire and I did it growing up.”
The couple firmly believe in growing food, not lawns. They’ve been in Iron Station for two and a half years and have been slowly putting in place vegetable beds and planting fruit trees. They maintain their vegetable beds with no or minimal tillage, utilizing compost and apply no pesticides or herbicides.
In addition to selling their produce on Saturdays at the Denver Farmer’s Market and maintaining a farm membership plan offering discounts and preference buying to members, the couple also offer their property as a venue for micro weddings, elopements or custom, intimate corporate or other events.
“We love entertaining,” Andre Gagne said. “I’m a firefighter and former executive chef by trade. Most weekends we find ourselves entertaining people with either me cooking or Jenn out here making S’mores over the fire and making sure the kids are happy. We wanted to share what we have here.”
Sharing for the Gagnes isn’t limited to the space. Those who plan events at the farm can also arrange for a farm to table menu that can include seasonal produce from their farm as well as from neighboring farms.
“Our farming methods result in some of the healthiest vegetables you can get,” he said. “Farming is romantic. It’s hard work, but there’s a connection to the earth that you feel when you put your hands in the dirt. You don’t get good vegetables unless you really take care of the soil. I did a lot of research on the no till method. By just cracking the soil and adding compost and utilizing drip irrigation, you increase the pathways to nutrients. You naturally grow the health of the soil which provides more nutritious vegetables. It’s better for the environment too.”
Then there’s the chickens – lots of vibrantly-colored, friendly chickens who lay eggs, “till” the ground with their scratching, provide natural fertilizer and entertain both the Gagnes and their guests.
“This is our heaven here,” Andre Gagne said. “We’re happy to be able to share it with others. We hope to expand the wedding and catering operation and eventually have blueberries, more strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.”
For more information, visit https://www.hamptonhillsfarm.com