Farewell to a Londonderry Family Farmer

You could not help but feel his presence at the Glenwood Cemetery this morning dozens gathered in a place where he had come daily, weather permitting, for years since his bride of 63 years passed on in 2009.

The crows gathered at treetops in the town forest and let out there caw as friends, family and community paid their respects.  Safe now from Mr. Elwood’s long rifle, they showed no fear as they also came to bid this great farmer well.

The remembrance card said it all in the cover. A sign with an arrow to the farm stand, tomatoes, peaches, corn, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and his well known U-Pick beans.  Tacked onto the sign “Corn Maze” in 2007.  Something at that time he told us he could not quite understand and said, “If you want to know about that, you should see my sons about it.”

That farm stand photo hangs in town hall, not even a farm name in the original image but you know you are on Elwood Road.  Mr. Elwood once cared for our children, he was the bus service that was needed when the one room school houses closed down and students needed a way to central school.

Half a century before most of us came to Londonderry Wayland at age 12, when his dad passed away started to work on the farm. Until the end each day you could find him making change and sharing the bounty of his land.

Today it’s trendy to be locavore or one who seeks out local produce.  For his lifetime it was a way to provide for his family.  In recent years the expansion of Agrativities including the corn maze and hay rides bring additional revenue.  For Wayland it was always about the crop, mostly the tomatoes when they were in season.

Wayland Elwood in 2007 in the Elwood Farmstand with a hours sign over his head he is behind the counterFrom the Graveside Service

Close the Gate (for Dad)

By Nancy Kraayenhof

“For this one farmer the worries are over.

lie down and reast your head,

Your time has been and struggles enough,

put the tractor in the shed…

Your love of God’s soil has passed on to your kin;

the stories flow like fine wine.

Wash off your work boots in the puddle

left by blessed rain one final time…

Your labor is done,

your home now is heaven;

no more must you wait,

Your legacy lives on,

your love of the land, and we will close the gate.”

Mr. Elwood at Elwood Farm in 2007 ringing up produce; squash, in the farmstand.

From family, farmers, friends, customers and community, peace to you Mr. Elwood, you gave us all more than you will ever know.

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  1. Vote -1 Vote +1Suzanne Laurent

    RIP, Mr. Elwood. You were a good man. I’ll never forget our interview a few years ago for the Derry News when you gave me a tour of your land in your pick-up truck.

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