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Gayle Hedrington

October 5, 2009


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month


The Bardo Project

(L-R) Ian and Jody Underwood, Neil and Emily Smith

Traveling up Forehand Road right before the curve, you’ll see a sign that reads “Bardo.” It is easy to assume it's the surname of the owners, but it is the Bardo Project. Bardo is a Tibetan term meaning intermediate state, translated as transitional state or in-between state, but in reality, it is the heart, soul, and hard work of two amazing couples, Jody and Ian Underwood, and Emily and Neil Smith.

The Underwoods and Smiths left Bucks County Pennsylvania in 2007 to pursue their desire to establish a self-sufficient lifestyle. Luckily, for the Town of Croydon, they bought the home owned by the Hastings. 

The original plan was to purchase a large parcel of property, clear it and make a homestead, but their plans changed upon seeing the Hasting property. It was kismet. The home was equipped with solar power and a propane generator for electricity, plus it was on 210 acres. Both couples said that after viewing the property they knew it was the place to pursue their dream. 

Emily Smith had knowledge of vegetable gardening; neither couple had any type of farming background. Emily’s background is in preschool, gymnastics and her husband Neil Smith owned a private mailbox business in Yardley Pennsylvania. Jody and Ian Underwood have backgrounds in education. Jody works in research and development for grades K-12, and Ian runs the web site Ask Dr. Math (  sponsored by Drexel University. Both telecommute to their jobs each day in addition to the farm chores.

Telecommuting was another a challenge and the Underwoods took it on as all the others. They discovered a mobile broadband modem with a wireless router works far better than their original satellite setup. According to Jody if you can get a cell phone signal in your house you can use mobile broadband. They run four computers off the system with no problems. This intrigued me since it may be a viable alternative for Croydon residents who seek broadband service. 

In the past two years, the couples established several buildings on the property for the various animals they raise. One building is an ingenious portable “A” frame chicken coop on wheels with a wire floor. It allows them to move it each day to a different spot so that the 25 laying hens have fresh grass each day while keeping them safe from predators.

Besides the laying hens they have three Emus, three turkeys, and two pigs and of course, the two oxen given to them by Hastings. Except for the oxen, the animals raised are for food. In September, they harvested 25 Red Broilers and 25 Rosambro Broilers chickens.

There is still a need to go grocery shopping for butter, milk, coffee, sugar and flour but the Underwoods and Smiths are well on their way to realizing their dream of self-sufficiency.

One of the newer projects at Bardo is bee keeping. At present, there is one hive. The plan is to add a hive a year, and Emily is looking to make honey in year three. There is always something new at Bardo. A few weeks ago, they held a workday to construct a root cellar, which will enable the farm to have root vegetables throughout the year. The Underwoods and Smiths also are changing their generator fuel from propane to biodiesel, which uses cooking oil and fats. 


School Well Water Update

Health Officer Steve Cunningham reports that the well used by the school, town hall and Croydon Congregational Church is 45 years old, of unknown depth, and that the water system is maintained by certified water system manger, Pathways Consulting in Lebanon NH.

Steve Cunningham performed his own tests after flushing the system, and sent the water to the NH DES Laboratory, the only federally certified lab in NH. From the test results, Cunningham had the following recommendations:

"In spite of the negative results recently, the issue of a lack of free chlorine should be addressed. The town should be assured that sufficient chlorine went throughout the system. I would suggest a re-treatment of the well with a chlorine concentration of 50ppm or one gallon of sodium hypochlorite 5.25% bleach for 1000 gallons of well reserve, a NH recommendation. If our well is 500' deep, one gallon for the well, the immediately surrounding water bearing substrate, and the water system would be about right. Then testing for both free and total chlorine should be done over the next several days to determine the presence of free chlorine and chlorines compounds.

"If, by some chance, water is still considered to be chronically contaminated two solutions present themselves. First is to install a treatment system (liquid chlorine insertion would probably be simplest). Second is to connect the well at the Morse House (after testing) and disconnecting the school's well.

"I would also suggest allowing the schoolchildren to use the water for hand washing followed by use of an alcohol base hand disinfectant."


Veteran’s Dinner

The Croydon Historical Society, Board of Selectmen, Congregational Church, Croydon Volunteer Fire Department, and the Women’s Auxiliary are planning a potluck supper on November 14 at 4 pm to recognize and thank all of Croydon’s Veterans for their service in the military. All known veterans will receive invitations, and the Croydon Historical Society are soliciting a mailing to make sure all residents who served in the military are found.  


Croydon Real Estate Sales for September

  • $90,000- 176  Croydon Brook Rd, Croydon NH


Town News

Selectmen Meeting - Tuesday, September 22 at 7:30 p.m.

The Town Clerk’s Office is closed, October 14, 2009 from 2:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Town Transfer Station ends summer’s hours for the season on October 14,

School Board Meeting, Wednesday, October 21 (corrected from Oct. 14) in the Croydon Village School at 6:30 pm.


Please feel free to contact me with any information, news, announcements or just to say hello at Have a great week.

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