Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


July 11, 2013

Out to pasture

End of an era for Strawberry Hill Farm


The time has come for the latest generation of Loosigians to consider selling.

“I feel like I’m doing something wrong,” Peter Loosigian said. “I spent years taking care of this stuff.”

A family’s legacy

Standing in one of the sheds, Peter Loosigian looked around at the agricultural implements, some hanging from big beams, others neatly stowed on the floor.

Many of the items could be housed in a museum.

There’s a weed-remover known as a scuffle hoe from Planet Junior. “Commercial farmers stopped using them 40 to 50 years ago,” he said. “My father kept using them.”

The so-called “new tractor” in the barn was purchased in 1959 from Boston Children’s Hospital, where it had been used as a snow plow.

And then there’s the red and white Ford truck, from 1967, with the rebuilt motor.

Plus, there are countless stories that go with the land and the man who worked it.

Loosigian and his sister Lisa, 64, recalled the time their father and grandmother got into a huge argument over the apple trees that once stood on the land.

Their grandmother, “Andover Annie,” as she was known, was a fiercely independent and strong-willed woman who from the back of a horse-drawn wagon sold produce from the farm to merchants in Andover in the 1920s and ’30s.

As their grandmother grew older, their father took over the farming and began making some decisions himself. One day, he decided it was too difficult to plow around the apple trees, which his mother had nurtured over the years, so he cut them down.

“I just remember a lot of yelling that day,” Lisa Loosigian said. “My grandmother let him have it.”

Then there was the time a neighbor’s dog got into the chicken coop and killed all the chickens.

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