A few weeks ago the community got the news that the oldest family run farm in Londonderry was being sold to a new owner and Moose Hill Orchards would now be run by Kyle Chrestensen, a Derry resident.
Since then, a number of articles have been written on the sale of the farm, and as a result, rumors and speculation have popped up on local social media sites as to what will now become of the land that has been farmed by the Mack family for about 300 years.
As was stated in the last article the Londonderry Times published, most of the land that the Mack’s owned was put into conservation easements over the years and very little of it can be developed for anything other than for some form of farming.
Meaning no large apartment complex or housing development can be built on the land.
We recently spoke with both the new owner and with Andy Mack Senior and were told that the long-term plan for the farm is to keep it running as an apple orchard.
Chrestensen told the Times, “Farming has always been my passion since growing up working on a farm for many years. It had such a great influence on me and taught me a number of valuable life and work skills that I’m so grateful for. Having a farm was my dream and I’m very happy to take over Mack’s Apples.”
He also thanked Mack, “I want to thank Andy Mack Sr. for his guidance and all of the employees at Mack’s Apples for their hard work and dedication.”
In regard to what will happen to the land now that it has a new owner, Chrestensen added, “As many people are speculating about the future of the property, the plan is simple and it’s to farm the land, make some improvements and add new goods and activities. We want to preserve the history, the land and the beauty of Mack’s orchards for the next generations to enjoy. For many people Mack’s is the place for building a tradition and reconnecting with their roots and we would love it to stay that way. No condos, apartments, malls are going to be built. The ice cream stand is staying as well. We are looking forward to the upcoming season and will be open for U-Pick in a couple of months. We are also planting our own vegetables and flowers this year. As for new products and activities, stay tuned to our social media accounts.”
It should be noted that the land Chrestensen owns does not include the area near the Grange in the center of town. Residents recently voted for the town to purchase that land and only five acres of that land could be developed for a town facility such as a civic center or School District office. The other 23 acres was designated as conservation land and Moose Hill Orchard is being allowed to farm the land indefinitely.