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Home » Belknap County (Center Harbor/Laconia/Sanbornton Region), Farm Profiles, Gilmanton

Still Seeking Farm, Gilmanton, NH

By Helen Brody

When asked about the farm name, “Still Seeking,” Michelle Descoteaux responded  “I’m done now. I have spent many years trying to figure out what to do with my life.”  In 2003, this paralegal and her husband, Keith, a Walmart distribution professional, began farming as “test professions” on three acres of land in Pittsfield, New Hampshire. It was there that they decided their future would be in organic-style farming and purchased a  larger piece of property to fulfill their ambitious agricultural goals.

In 2011, while continuing with their full time off the farm jobs to support their decision, the couple moved their sugar shack off the Pittsfield  property  to a 15 acre farm in Gilmanton. New Hampshire. Michelle’s work days are Monday through Friday. Keith’s are Saturday through Monday. Except that they have little time together the system works well. Keith preps for the planting, then Michelle plants. They both harvest. “Our future  goal is for one of us to give up a full-time job,”  says Michelle.

A new direction in how to farm was spawned when Keith attended  a conference on “Nutrient Dense Crops” that was taught by Dan Kittredge, director of the Real Food Campaign ( There they learned ways of testing soil for nutrients. To assure their crop’s “general flavor, sweetness, and healthfulness,”  they wanted to be able to guarantee that their soil was as nutrient dense as they could make it.    An added plus was that Kittredge also told Keith that nutrient dense soil led to a longer productive plant life by helping to prevent crops from dying out before frost. “Plants become less productive during the growing season because they have used up all the available  nutrients in their soil,” says Keith.

The couple measures their soil conductivity (nutrient quality) regularly and have been  consistently raising it by adding azomite, greensand, sul-po-mag and lime to their compost to assure more flavorful, healthier, and sweeter vegetables and fruits. With a particular goal of raising the sugar content of their fruits and vegetables, they use a refractometer to measure sugar content.  As a selling point at farmers’ markets they want to offer customers taste tests to compare flavor and sweetness of supermarket vegetables with theirs. (see garlic plantings under solar mulch above right)

Neither Michelle nor Keith were raised on a farm but the seed must have been planted. Both were raised with family backyard gardens and Keith worked on a farm when he was fifteen and Michelle’s grandfather was a farmer..

The  couple’s goals are big but they are well on their way. They have put up a 12 X 48 hoop house with a second one to come. They have 35 mature blueberry bushes(see left) and have planted strawberries and raspberries.  New to them is an apple orchard that they discovered on their recently purchase farmland. There are many mature antique apple trees that produce sweet apples. “We have no idea what varieties they are but we have eaten them and they are good for cooking and we may try pressing them for cider at some point” says Michelle. But their most immediate project is to  log off their pine trees and build  a 24X 36 post and beam barn and  someday  we hope to be totally solar powered,” says Keith, with wink at Michelle. “We are learning more year by year,” she responds.


Still Seeking Farm, Gilmanton, NH
Michelle & Keith Descoteaux
Loon Pond Road
Gilmanton, NH 03237

Farmers Markets: (vegetables, fruits, syrup,  soaps, candles, baskets)

Laconia:           Main Street (Thursday)
City Hall parking lot (Saturdays)

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Published on: May 14, 2012 Last modified on: May 12, 2016

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