HOLLIS, N.H. -- A ride across the Granite State's verdant farmland is always worth the gas money, but a side trip to Lull Farm turns that ride into a real event. Think farm stand meets organic market meets old-fashioned general store, then add pick-your-own fruit and produce and a cider mill. That's Lull's -- which has as its backdrop 250 acres of rich, Merrimack Valley farmland.
Walking into Lull's is like stepping into a Dutch still life. There are bouquets of dark green basil, purple anemones, and cheerful sunflowers. Velvety tansy dries upside down from the rafters, creating a kind of golden awning for the bins of fresh produce , which include at least a dozen varieties of apples, potatoes, and berries. The braided bread, golden pies, and other pastries from the Dutch Epicure in Amherst just beg for a modern-day Vermeer to do them justice.
There are also treasures in the store's coolers, which are stocked with locally produced meats and dairy products like bison breakfast links from Warner, and antibiotic-and-growth-hormone-free milk in amazing flavors like blueberry and coffee from East Conway.
For the children, one entire wall is lined with glass jars full of penny candies, and you can even pick up greeting cards with photos of the farm made by photographer Kaitlyn Orde, whose father, David , has run Lull's for more than 20 years.
And in the " best souvenir ever " category, look for Lull Farm T-shirts designed by local artists and featuring wood block prints of migrant workers gleaning a field of pumpkins. The newest addition to the line portrays an idyllic agrarian scene featuring the motto "Eat Your View: Support Your Local Farm."
Lull Farm, Route 130, Hollis, N.H. 603-465-7079. Daily 7-7.