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Radio Field Trip: Getting The Scoop On An Ice Cream Barn In Hopkinton

For this week’s Radio Field Trip, we’re traveling to the town of Hopkinton to get the scoop of one of our favorite summer treats.

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As I walk into the Ice Cream Barn at Beech Hill Farm, the smell of freshly made waffle cones hits me immediately.

Tucked away in the woods just outside of Concord, this ice cream spot has over 75 different flavors.

“You can always tell when they’re new customers because they’re asking, ‘What’s chocolate cookie monster, or what’s dough dough bird, or red raspberry revolution?’” co-owner Holly Kimball says.

Holly says the farm has been in her family for over nine generations, and now she runs it with her father and her oldest son.

“It’s definitely a group effort, and it’s something that not one person could manage because we have grown and diversified, and that’s really what farmers today need to do,” Holly says.

Beech Hill Farm was a dairy operation for almost a century. But as the Kimball family struggled to keep the farm profitable in the late 90s, Holly’s parents found a new dream. They wanted to open an ice cream stand.

And over 20 years later a barn that used to hold over 100 cattle is now a proper country store serving frozen desserts. Outside there’s a petting zoo, a gardening shed and a corn maze during the fall.

Several children wait eagerly in line with their parents and grandparents on this hot, summer day.

Twenty year-old Danielle works at the farm during the summer. She’s behind the counter scooping ice cream and making waffle cones for the many families who come in every day.

“I do get to sample new flavors, and I do get to feed the broken cones to the goats, which is fun,” Danielle says.

Holly says one of the goats name Gracie loves the chocolate dipped waffle cones.

“She’ll always have this smudge of fudge over the bridge of her nose because she’ll always just stick her face right in the cone,” Holly says.

Holly leads me outside to the stalls to meet Gracie and the other goats. They look like they’re waiting for some children to come with sticky hands and half eaten cones.

“They’re not above coping a lick if the opportunity presents itself,” Holly says. “They’ll get a nudge in.”

The goats share the barn with pigs, mini donkeys, a pony and peacocks. Those are just a few of the many animals people come out to meet while they eat their ice cream at Beech Hill Farm.

For many radio listeners throughout New Hampshire, Rick Ganley is the first voice they hear each weekday morning, bringing them up to speed on news developments overnight and starting their day off with the latest information.
Mary McIntyre is a senior producer at NHPR.
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