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What is Agriculture and Agritourism?

Many people have asked us if Sweet Baby Vineyard is a commercial business. The answer is NO. We are a farm which falls under agricultural zoning, not commercial zoning. Below is the whole nitty gritty NH law...

21:34-a Farm, Agriculture, Farming. – I. The word "farm" means any land, buildings, or structures on or in which agriculture and farming activities are carried out or conducted and shall include the residence or residences of owners, occupants, or employees located on such land. Structures shall include all farm outbuildings used in the care of livestock, and in the production and storage of fruit, vegetables, or nursery stock; in the production of maple syrup; greenhouses for the production of annual or perennial plants; and any other structures used in operations named in paragraph II of this section. II. The words "agriculture" and "farming" mean all operations of a farm, including: (a)(1) The cultivation, conservation, and tillage of the soil. (2) The storage, use of, and spreading of commercial fertilizer, lime, wood ash, sawdust, compost, animal manure, septage, and, where permitted by municipal and state rules and regulations, other lawful soil amendments. (3) The use of and application of agricultural chemicals. (4) The raising and sale of livestock which shall include but not be limited to all beef and dairy cattle, steer, oxen, goats, sheep, swine, horses, mules or other equidae, as well as domesticated strains of buffalo, bison, llamas, alpacas, emus, ostriches, poultry, rabbits, yaks, elk (Cervus canadensis), fallow deer (Dama dama), red deer (Cervus elephus), and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus). (5) The breeding, boarding, raising, training, riding instruction, and selling of equines. (6) The commercial raising, harvesting, and sale of fresh water fish or other aquaculture products. (7) The raising, breeding, or sale of poultry or game birds. (8) The raising of bees. (9) The raising, breeding, or sale of domesticated strains of fur-bearing animals. (10) The production of greenhouse crops. (11) The production, cultivation, growing, harvesting, and sale of any agricultural, floricultural, viticultural,forestry, or horticultural crops including, but not limited to, berries, herbs, honey, maple syrup, fruit, vegetables, tree fruit, grapes, flowers, seeds, grasses, nursery stock, sod, trees and tree products, Christmas trees grown as part of a commercial Christmas tree operation, trees grown for short rotation tree fiber, compost, or any other plant that can be legally grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. (b) Any practice on the farm incident to, or in conjunction with such farming operations, including, but not necessarily restricted to: (1) Preparation for market, delivery to storage or to market, or to carriers for transportation to market of any products or materials from the farm. (2) The transportation to the farm of supplies and materials. (3) The transportation of farm workers. (4) Forestry or lumbering operations. (5) The marketing or selling at wholesale or retail, of any products from the farm, on-site and off-site, where not prohibited by local regulations. Marketing includes agritourism, which means attracting visitors to a farm to attend events and activities that are accessory uses to the primary farm operation, including, but not limited to, eating a meal, making overnight stays, enjoyment of the farm environment, education about farm operations, or active involvement in the activity of the farm. (6) Irrigation of growing crops from private water supplies or public water supplies where not prohibited by state or local rule or regulation. (7) The use of dogs for herding, working, or guarding livestock, as defined in RSA 21:34-a, II(a)(4). (8) The production and storage of compost and the materials necessary to produce compost, whether such materials originate, in whole or in part, from operations of the farm. III. A farm roadside stand shall remain an agricultural operation and not be considered commercial, provided that at least 35 percent of the product sales in dollar volume is attributable to products produced on the farm or farms of the stand owner. IV. Practices on the farm shall include technologies recommended from time to time by the university of New Hampshire cooperative extension, the New Hampshire department of agriculture, markets, and food, and appropriate agencies of the United States Department of Agriculture. V. The term "farmers' market" means an event or series of events at which 2 or more vendors of agricultural commodities gather for purposes of offering for sale such commodities to the public. Commodities offered for sale must include, but are not limited to, products of agriculture, as defined in paragraphs I-IV. "Farmers' market" shall not include any event held upon any premises owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by any individual vendor selling therein. VI. [Repealed.]

Source. 1961, 140:1. 1977, 95:1. 1979, 60:1. 1985, 6:1. 1997, 250:1. 1999, 191:2. 2005, 107:1. 2006, 11:5; 326:1. 2007, 157:1. 2008, 8:1, eff. July 4, 2008. 2014, 97:2, eff. Aug. 10, 2014. 2016, 267:1, 6, eff. June 16, 2016.

Many people have asked if producing wine or having wine tastings is commercial. The answer is still NO. Agriculture includes producing products using products or materials from the farm. Not all materials need to grow on that farm (for example an apple orchard that makes cider donuts brings in the sugar, wheat and other ingredients). Wine tastings and other activities where people come to learn about the vineyard and enjoy the vineyard are called Agritourism. These are not commercial activities. This is similar to picking apples, going to a farm to table dinner at a farm, visiting a horse barn for a trail ride or enjoying goat yoga.

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