About Farm by the River and Bill and Eve - Owners of The Farm By The River
The Farm by the River was originally owned by Eve’s parents, Albert and Helen Varrieur who purchased the property in 1964 from the Charles H. Watts Family. They both loved gardening, ran a successful greenhouse business and planted the seeds for the farm that has evolved. The Farm was passed along to Bill and Eve in 2001.
Eve just retired from being a clinical social worker and working full-time as the clinical director of a community mental health center. She enjoys baking, spending time in the gardens and with the animals. She had a major role in bringing the Katahdin hair sheep, chickens and pigs onto the farm with the goal of growing and knowing the meat that we eat. She says, “I decided if I cannot eat an animal that I have loved than I should not eat meat at all. In the beginning I didn’t believe I would be able to and although it is never easy, I am at peace now knowing the animals have a great existence here. They are well loved and at the harvest we know they have gotten the best life possible. I eat less meat now, but when I do, it is ours and we are thankful to the life given on our behalf.”
Bill’s explains his passion for farming “is partly genetic because my dad was always working in our garden and enjoyed the harvest that my mom helped put by every year when we were growing up. I worked on a vegetable farm for summer jobs as a teenager and I guess I got the bug then. I went to UNH and fell in love with New Hampshire and have never left. I am thankful to my Dad for passing along the gene because I truly love what I do.” Bill is a master gardener, and runs a landscaping, farm care-taking and maintenance business as part of The Farm By The River enterprise.
The Farm By The River is a family farm that has grown into a working farm with gardens, fields and woods that frame the Ossipee River - which flows into Maine’s Saco River and then to the Atlantic Ocean. The Farm also sits over one of the largest stratified drift aquifers in New England. As a result we have a strong conservation ethic and are mindful of the impact agriculture can have on the environment. The river front land is under a conservation easement with the Audubon Society. The Farm also participates in several cost sharing programs with the NRCS that require it to maintain a high standard of low environmental impact agricultural practices. The Support from the NRCS has been integral to the development of the farm infrastructure. Projects include fencing, water systems in the fields, high tunnels for season extension, pollinator habitat, brook trout conservation, and other forestry and field efforts aimed at benefiting wildlife habitat.
Bill and Eve will continue to help in the garden and will be staying plenty busy playing with their three big dogs, raising and caring for Katahdin Hair sheep and chickens here at the farm as well as operating their pick-your-own raspberry business in July.