Lafayette and Mayme Noda (both deceased) grew up in the San Joaquin Valley in California. Their parents had immigrated from Japan and bought land there, in a small, agricultural community founded by an idealistic Japanese businessman who believed that the Japanese should settle in the United States. The Nodas moved to Hanover in 1956, when Lafayette was appointed professor biochemistry at Dartmouth's medical school.
In 1958, they bought the property, which then consisted of fields and woodlands. Preparing for Lafayette's retirement from Dartmouth and a return to farming life, they planted Christmas trees and blueberries in the early 1970s, working full-time on the land during their sixties, seventies, eighties, and, in Lafayette's case, his nineties. Lafayette retired from farming at the age of ninety-four.
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