Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


July 11, 2013

Out to pasture

End of an era for Strawberry Hill Farm


The next night, their father waited in the chicken coop for the dog to reappear.

“He got rid of him,” Lisa Loosigian said. Then he demolished the chicken coop.

“His main interest was in the fields,” Peter Loosigian said.

They recalled the time some neighborhood kids were growing marijuana in one corner of the farm. And they recounted the story of their grandmother selling homemade moonshine during Prohibition.

“She’d hide it in the bushes and the guys from Sid White’s dairy farm would come down, leave money and take the moonshine,” Lisa Loosigian said.

But what Lisa, Peter and their brother, Jon, 60, remember more than anything is the work. They all started pitching in at the farm at a young age.

“We were all farmhands,” said Lisa Loosigian, who now lives in North Andover and runs the Dover Press printing company with her husband. “We worked whether we felt like it or not.”

She added, “It was all about the work.”

Her father even inspected his children’s little fingers at the end of a day in the fields, looking for red stains on their fingertips, a sure sign that they were squeezing the raspberries too hard as they plucked them from the thorny bushes.

Their mother, Alice, also got into the act.

A fixture at the farmstand for many years, the former Alice Arozian was an “attractive and vivacious art school graduate from Watertown,” Lisa Loosigian wrote in a remembrance to her father that was published in The Townsman earlier this year.

Instead of heading off to New York City to pursue her passion, she poured her heart and soul into the farm.

“People who didn’t know her figured she was a farm stand lady,” Peter Loosigian said. “She was a very talented artist, but she couldn’t pursue that.”

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