William O. Merrill of Londonderry

William O. Merrill, 86, of Londonderry, NH died Friday, December 13, 2013 at the Villa Crest Nursing Home, Manchester. He was born on January 31, 1927 in Manchester, NH, a son of the late Clinton E. and Ethel (Platt) Merrill. Mr. Merrill was a graduate of Pinkerton Academy, Derry, Class of 1944. He later received his BA from UNH in 1951 and his Master’s Degree in 1955. He proudly served his country with the US Air Force, serving during the Korean Conflict and had served from 1951 -1979 retiring as a Lt. Colonel.

Mr. Merrill has been the owner of Oliver Merrill and Sons Farm in Londonderry from 1982 until present but had spent his entire life living and working on the farm which primarily produced apples and eggs. He was a member of the NH Poultry Growers where he was a past president and a member of the NH Fruit Growers Association. He was also a member of the Farm Bureau, serving on the Poultry Committee.

Mr. Merrill was a long-time Manchester Farmer’s Market vendor from the 1970’s until 1999, where he was affectionately known as “The Egg Man.” He was on the Governor’s Commission for Vocational Education from 1980 to 1990. Mr. Merrill was a founder of the Londonderry Bank and Trust where he was at one time a Bank Director. He was also affiliated with Bedford Bank and First NH Bank. He was also a Past President and Executive Director of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Merrill was on the Londonderry Water Commission and the Sewer Commission. He was very active with Conservation and Land Preservation efforts in Londonderry. He enjoyed travelling with the Farm Bureau and the Vocational Education.

He is survived by his three sons, Charles Merrill and his partner Sandra Spanier, Kenneth Merrill and his wife Caroline, and Robert Merrill, two step grandsons, Morgan and Evan Gaythorp, and one sister Charlotte Merrill. He was predeceased by his wife of 51 years, Louise (French) Merrill and his brother Everett Merrill.

Following cremation, a memorial calling hour will be held on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 from 2 – 3pm in the Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 290 Mammoth Road, Londonderry. A memorial service will follow at 3:00pm in the funeral home. Burial will be in the spring at Pleasant View Cemetery, Londonderry. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Sonshine Soup Kitchen, 4 Crystal Avenue, Derry, NH 03038.

For a great little story about Mr. Merrill and his farm, click here.


Fun in NH this Holiday Weekend!

Want to have some fun this weekend? There are many events happening all over the state. Here is a small list of what you will find this weekend in New Hampshire. Check out NHmagazine.com for more details. Don’t forget, Londonderry has its own Corn Maze and will be open nights in October. Located at Elwood Farm the maze is 12 acres of puzzle fun, and if you plan on taking a night excursion make sure to bring a flashlight. Hayrides are also available at Elwood Farm. At Sunnycrest, Macks and Merrills, all in Londonderry, they will have U-Pick apples and pumpkins and much much more.

Milford Pumpkin Festival
October 11-13, Milford.
Visit www.milfordpumpkinfestival.org for more information.

Warner Fall Foliage Festival
October 12-13, Warner.
Visit www.wfff.org for more information.

16th Annual Attitash Oktoberfest
October 12-13, Bartlett.
Visit attitash.com for more information.

Annual Oktoberfest at Loon Mountain
October 12-13, Lincoln.
Visit loonmtn.com for more information.

The Sandwich Fair
October 12-14, Sandwich.
Visit www.thesandwichfair.com for more information.

Fall Foliage Festival
October 12-14, Waterville Valley.
Visit www.visitwatervillevalley.com for more information.

NH Fall Festival
October 12, Portsmouth.
Visit strawberybanke.org for more information.

Anheuser-Busch Brewery
October 12, Merrimack.
Visit symphonynh.org for more information.


Top Ten Things to do in Londonderry this Fall

With the arrival of fall, the weather may begin to cool but Londonderry begins to heat up! While there’s not much time before the cold takes over, there’s still plenty to do and many people to do it with! Here’s our favorite top ten things to do here in Londonderry during the fall. But hurry, some will be gone before you know it!

1. Pick a pumpkin. Visit one of Londonderry’s four farms to find the biggest, orangest, fanciest, or funniest pumpkin you can imagine. Take it home, carve it, paint it, bake it, roast the seeds, or display it as is, the choice is yours!

2. Traverse a trail. With miles of trails in Londonderry, fall is one of the most beautiful times to hike, bike, walk or run. Surrounded by the ever-changing leaves, take a moment to enjoy the view and crisp, fall air. Trail locations include the Musquash Conservation Area, Kendall Pond, and Adams Pond.

3. Have a haunted time. Each year, the Londonderry High School Drama Club hosts the Haunted Woods, a ghoulish time for all ages. Typically held at the high school ropes courts for three nights the week before Halloween, the Haunted Woods is a perfect chance to dress in costume and get the “willies”.

4. Appreciate the arts. The Londonderry Arts Council hosts their fall Art in Action at numerous locations during early November. Watch as artists sculpt, paint, sketch, and more during this semi-annual event.

5. Maneuver a maze. Get lost in a dozen-plus acre corn maze at Elwood Orchards. Blind alleys, dead ends and endless loops will keep you guessing for hours with family and friends. Come during the day or grab a flashlight and hit the maze at night during the month of October!

6. Pluck a peck. With acres upon acres of apple trees, four Londonderry farms are the perfect place to grab your favorite apples. Snack while you pick and take home a peck or two; there’s nothing better than apple pie, caramel apples, and other delicious treats made from locally grown apples!

7. Bat, bounce, or boot a ball. From soccer and basketball, to baseball and football, there’s a number of fall ball activities going on in Londonderry! Whether you join a rec team or grab a group of friends, Londonderry has plenty of fields and courts to play on.

8. Frolic through the foliage. Londonderry is home to one of the area’s best scenic byways. Called Apple Way by locals, the drive takes visitors past apple orchards, fields, historic landmarks, old farmhouses, and more. And what a fantastic time to take the drive, when the leaves have changed their brilliant colors and the farms are alive with the hustle and bustle of fall.

9. Trick or Treat with the terrifying. Held each year, RE/MAX 1st Choice hosts their Trick or Treat on Main Street. This wonderful event allows little ones looking for some extra or safer trick or treating times to visit local businesses and gather treats.

10. Study fire safety. Each October, the Londonderry Fire Department Central Station invites children and adults of all ages to attend the Fire Station Open House. The event provides opportunity to learn more about fire safety, experience a “smoke room”, shoot a real fire hose, and meet firemen.


Everett D. Merrill of Manchester

Everett D. Merrill, 85, of Manchester, formerly of Londonderry, died suddenly Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at Villa Crest Nursing and Retirement Center of Manchester. He was born April 2, 1928 in Manchester and was a son of the late Clinton and Ethel (Platt) Merrill.Everett was a lifelong resident of Londonderry. Before his retirement, he was active in his family’s business, Oliver Merrill and Sons Poultry and Fruit Farm, of Londonderry, for more than 50 years. Members of the family include a sister, Charlotte Merrill, and brother, William Merrill, both of Londonderry, as well as three nephews.

Following cremation, a memorial service will be held Monday August 12, 2013 at 2pm at the Villa Crest Nursing and Retirement Center, 1276 Hanover Street, Manchester, NH, followed by committal of his cremated remains at Pleasant View Cemetery of Londonderry.

Visit the Peabody Funeral Homes website to leave a condolence note or view others.



Strawberry Picking Open – In Londonderry

Bright, plump, and delicious, strawberry season has arrived in Londonderry! Row upon row of these yummy (and healthy) summer treats are now ready for picking at two farms in town, so be sure to hit the fields this weekend and indulge in Londonderry grown goodness!

With the weather looking wonderful over the next few days and this weekend.  What a better way to spend some time outside?

Picking in Londonderry can be done anytime between 7 AM and 6 PM, so come early and head home to make a decadent breakfast the freshest strawberries around. Or come later and save the strawberries for a tasty after dinner dessert!

Sunnycrest Farm is open for picking seven days a week from 7 AM until 12 PM noon. Elwood Orchards is open longer, from 8 AM until 6 PM, so if you miss the Sunnycrest picking, there’s plenty of time to get to Elwood!

There’s two ways to enjoy freshly picked Londonderry strawberries! Like to spend some time in the fields on your own? Or in a rush but still want to enjoy fresh berries? Both farms offer pick-your-own and already-picked berries.

Don’t forget that Merrill Farm offers fresh Rhubarb to compliment you strawberries for a delicious Strawberry and Rhubarb pie.

For more information about either farm, as well as directions to both, click one of the corresponding links below!

Sunnycrest Farm

Elwood Orchards

Merrill’s Farm



Yummy Stawberry and Rhubard Pie Coming Soon in Londonderry

The Strawberry blossoms are blooming in Londonderry fields, with the indications that the plants are going to be bearing fruit soon.   Sunnycrest Farm and Elwood Farm are both estimating that picking will begin sometime around June 17th or the 20th.  Call the farm hotline numbers for exact date of the grand opening.  You can reach Sunnycrest at 603-432-9652 and Elwood’s at (603)434-6017.

Once you pick those delicious strawberries you need to create something with them, how about a Strawberry and Rhubarb Pie.   One like Grandma made.  Londonderry is home to 4 farms and Merrill Farm in North Londonderry will supply you with the fresh Rhubarb.  Merrill Farm also has Farm Fresh eggs.  The eggs are located on the porch and open all day.  Rhubarb is also available on the porch.

Can’t wait to get our fresh Strawberries and Rhubarb and make our Grandmother’s version of Strawberry and Rhubarb Pie.

Strawberry and Rhubarb Pie

1 ¼ cups sugar
¼ cup flour
1 cup Fresh Strawberries
2 cups diced Rhubarb
2 tbsp butter
Homemade pie pastry or purchased

Sift sugar and flour together and combine ¾ of it with fruit.  Line pie pan with pastry, sprinkle remaining dry mixture over bottom and add filing.  Dot with butter and arrange pastry strips over top in a Lattice Design.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees a bake for 10 minutes; Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees and bake for 30 minutes longer or until fruit is tender.

In addition to being consumed in a pie or fresh, strawberries can be frozen, made into preserves, as well as dried and used in such things as cereal bars. Strawberries are a popular addition to dairy products, as in strawberry flavored ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies and yogurts. Strawberry pigment extract can be used as a natural acid/base indicator due to the different color of the conjugate acid and conjugate base of the pigment.

Fun Facts About Strawberries:

  • Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.
  • The average strawberry has 200 seeds.
  • Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring.
  • Strawberries are a member of the rose family.
  • Ninety-four percent of US households consume strawberries.
  • Americans eat 3.4 pounds of fresh strawberries each year plus another 1.8 pounds frozen.
  • Strawberries are low fat, low calorie; high in vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, potassium
  • Strawberries, as part of a 5 a day fruit & vegetable program, can help reduce the risk of cancer & heart attacks.
  • Over 53 percent of seven to nine-year-olds picked strawberries as their favorite fruit.
  • Eating strawberries, which are rich in nitrate, can increase the flow of blood & oxygen to the muscles by 7%. This prevents muscle fatigue, making exercise easier.
  • In a test, subjects who ate nitrate rich foods like strawberries, before exercising burned 100 more calories than those who did not.

Sacred to the both Goddess of Love and the Virgin Mary, strawberries boast a long, dramatic history:

  • Strawberries were cultivated by the Romans as early as 200 BC. Strawberries were regarded as an aphrodisiac of the highest quality. Newlyweds traditionally were served a soup of thinned sour cream, strawberries, borage (a European herb whose flavor is reminiscent of cucumber) and powdered sugar.
  • The ancient Romans believed that strawberries alleviated symptoms of melancholy, fainting, all inflammations, fevers, throat infections, kidney stones, bad breath, attacks of gout, and diseases of the blood, liver and spleen.
  • In parts of Bavaria, country folk still practice the annual rite each spring of tying small baskets of wild strawberries to the horns of their cattle as an offering to elves. They believe that the elves are passionately fond of strawberries and will help to produce healthy calves and an abundance of milk in return.
  • Folk lore states that if you split a double strawberry in half and share it with someone, you’ll soon fall in love.
  • The second wife of Henry VIII, Queen Anne Boleyn (1507-36), had a strawberry-shaped birthmark on her neck. Unfortunately, some claimed this fact proved she was a witch.
  • The strawberry is recognized as representing absolute perfection in the Victorian language of flowers.
  • Medieval stonemasons carved strawberry designs on altars and around the tops of pillars in churches and cathedrals, symbolizing perfection and righteousness. During the same time period, strawberries were served at important state occasions and festivals to ensure peace and prosperity.

Oh and about those “fields forever,” they actually have to be rotated and replanted every few years. We can help keep the fields we visit each June open by supporting Elwood and Sunnycrest Farms; watch our breaking news for opening day. See you there!

More Information on Elwood Farm and Strawberry Picking

More Information on Sunnycrest Farm

Londonderry is the best place to Live, Work and Play.  To see what Londonderry has to offer check out VisitLondonderry.com