Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

July 11, 2013

Out to pasture

End of an era for Strawberry Hill Farm

(Continued)

Despite the hard work and sacrifice, the Loosigians have fond memories of their days growing up on the farm.

“At the end of the day, he’d throw us in the truck and we’d go get ice cream or go play baseball,” Lisa Loosigian said of her father.

The next chapter

Peter Ohan Loosigian’s death hit his family hard.

“I thought he was going to live to 100,” his daughter said. “It was a total shock he died.”

Indeed, the elder Loosigian seemed like an indomitable presence on the farm and in his family’s lives.

After the children grew up and moved away, the elder Loosigian tilled the land himself. Townspeople recall him working the land as recently as last season.

“My father did more work than any five men I ever saw,” Peter Loosigian said.

A photograph that ran in the Andover Townsman in 2005 showed Loosigian, then in his 80s, marking corn rows by hauling a wooden, sled-like apparatus behind him — by hand.

Despite the memories, or perhaps because of them, Peter Loosigian can no longer fathom working the land that has been passed down three generations.

“I’m not interested in farming,” he said. “It has to be in your blood. I helped my father farm. I’m not a farmer. My heart’s not in it.”

He admits he’s having a hard time letting go.

“This is where I grew up,” he said. “It’s where my father grew up and where my grandparents came to escape the Muslim Turks.

“People who don’t know my situation go by and see it’s closed and think poorly of me. They think I’m in it for the money. I’m just trying to do the best thing for me and my family. It’s always possible that I end up living here. I don’t know.”

NEXT WEEK: A look at the last working farm in Andover.

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