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Home » Farm Women

Leslie Berkum, van Berkum Nursery, Deerfield, NH

By Helen Brody (February 4, 2009)

leslie-van-berkum-head-shotLeslie van Berkum with her husband, Peter, is a full partner in the success of Van Berkum Nursery in Deerfield, New Hampshire. Her primary responsibilities are sales (primarily wholesale), marketing, trade shows, photography, and human resources for a staff of 10-30 depending on the season. She serves as the first woman president of the New England Nursery Association (founded in 1912) and organized the first of what she hopes will be an annual event called a “Simple Gathering” where members of the association gather at a nursery to socialize, compare notes, and simply enjoy the company of a peer. And finally she says, “I am “continually brainstorming with my husband about major business decisions and trying to keep my head above water” – something she, with three adult children, seems to have managed very well. In 2005 the Van Berkum Nursery was voted the “Best Family Business of New Hampshire” and in 2007 she was given the Susie Sherburne Citizenship Award for Deerfield.

But there, is more. Leslie graduated from Colby College with a degree in music and continues with her music having made a commercial CD (www.vanberkumnursery.com and www.amazon.com) with the Deerfield Coffeehouse Band and Kent Allyn and is currently in the women’s trio Benjammin. She often performs at benefits including for the Bear Paw Land Trust in Deerfield. To conclude she says “I love reading, playing, sports, and most of all, gardening.”

 Leslie van Berkum
Van Berkum Nursery
Deerfield, NH
(for more information see farm profiles)

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