Farm Profiles June 2019

Beech Hill Farm & Ice Cream Barn, Contoocook, NH

Beech Hill Farm & Ice Cream Barn, Contoocook, NH

For eighteen years Beech Hill Ice Cream Barn has been a magnet for both area residents and tourists who want to purchase NH made goods, plants and unique garden decorations, farm-raised meats, and ice cream. Nine generations of the Kimball family have worked the land at Beech Hill Farm which was originally granted to Aaron Kimball by the King of England in 1771. On Memorial Day 2015, as they sat on a glider shaded by a 200 year old shag bark hickory in front of the 1800 farmhouse, Donna and Bob Kimball spoke of their five decades of life at Beech Hill.

Address: 107 Beech Hill Rd,
Hopkinton, NH 03229
Phone: +1 (603) 223-0828

Windy Ridge Orchard, North Haverhill, NH

Windy Ridge Orchard, North Haverhill, NH

At Windy Ridge Orchard in North Haverhill, farming is truly a family affair. Dick and Ann Fabrizio purchased the farm in 1967 and transformed it from a small dairy operation to an apple orchard, which has grown considerably in size and scope over the past five decades. The Fabrizios had off the farm jobs while building the orchard and raising their five children. Today as retirees, Dick and Ann run Windy Ridge full-time.

Address: 1775 Benton Rd,
North Haverhill, NH 03774
Phone: +1 (603) 787-6377

Tarrnation Flower Farm, Sugar Hill, NH

Tarrnation Flower Farm, Sugar Hill, NH

Many a driver has slowed the car while passing the quaint Tarrnation Flower Farm in Sugar Hill, mesmerized by the immaculate layout and precise beauty of the landscape. An old oak tree towers over the red barn, neat rows of perennials curve away from the quiet road, perfectly shaped crab apple trees border the lawn, annuals grow in straight lines alongside vegetables, and the stone pathway to the small house at the farm is interspersed with bright pansies.

Address: 96 Streeter Pond Rd,
Sugar Hill, NH 03586
Phone: +1 (603) 823-5369

 

The Rocks Estate, Bethlehem, NH

The Rocks Estate, Bethlehem, NH

The Rocks Estate in Bethlehem is pushing the “Buy Local” movement beyond the traditional farm fare of vegetables, meat, and dairy. The main crop at The Rocks is Christmas trees, which are both locally grown and farm fresh, but The Rocks also provides agri- and eco-tourism opportunities, along with year-round educational programs in its capacity as the North Country Conservation and Education Center for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

Address: 4 Christmas Lane,
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Phone: +1 (603) 444-6228

Apple Hill Farm, Concord, NH

Apple Hill Farm, Concord, NH

Over 20 years ago Diane and Chuck Souther started Apple Hill Farm from unproductive open space within sight of the state capitol in Concord. Today they have a substantial planting of 45 different varieties of apples planted on the hillside overlooking their farmstand and berry patch. Twenty different flavors of peaches and a small number of plum trees fill out their orchards. Pick your own strawberries are their first summer berry crop, followed by blueberries, raspberries, and black black currants. Vegetables grown on the farm complement their berries at farmers markets

Address: 580 Mountain Rd,
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: +1 (603) 224-8862


LaValley Farms, Suncook, NH

LaValley Farms, Suncook, NH

Chris and Danielle LaValley worked on Blake Farms in Pembroke as teenagers. In 2006, they purchased the property – it was then that reality struck; there is a difference between working on a farm and owning a farm. Where to begin? Chris took on the responsibility of learning the science and methodology of farming so he could manage the fields. Danielle, began as cashier. As demand for their fresh products increased, she became the bookkeeper and manager for their retail farmstands in Hooksett and Manchester. Today the LaValleys in addition to the original farmland in Pembroke, but also farm in Allenstown and Hooksett to provide enough product for their increasing number of retail customers.

Address: 1801 Hooksett Rd,
Hooksett, NH 03106
Phone: +1 (603) 485-3541

Farm Profiles May 2019

Huntoon Farm, Danbury, NH

Huntoon Farm, Danbury, NH

Huntoon Farm in Danbury, NH is a 6-generation family farm that raises beef, pork, chicken, and turkey with an on-site kitchen that makes bakery sweets and other freshly prepared items. Phil and Donna are excited about the expansion of their line of meat products as they like having a range – beef, pork, chicken, and turkey. “I don’t think we’ll go into rabbits,” Donna says, with a laugh, “but there’s definitely a call for lamb, which appeals to me because it was historically part of the farm.” The couple is always weighing questions about the future against the farm’s past.

Address: 46 Huntoon Rd,
Danbury, NH 03230
Phone: +1 (603) 768-5579

Inheritance Farm, Chichester, NH

Inheritance Farm, Chichester NH

Inheritance Farm Permaculture located in Chichester offers permaculture & sustainability education, creating a welcoming learning environment for sustainability and permaculture in New Hampshire. In the summer of 2015, Inheritance Farm hosted the 3rd Annual New Hampshire Permaculture Day, an event previously held at D Acres of New Hampshire. This event included tours and forty classes, and the theme was “Emerging Permaculture.” Their classes included how to establish a permaculture farm, how to make rocket mass heaters, how to gather wild edibles, and how to make a bench by hand. They invited guests to share their knowledge about permaculture for some of the classes.

Address: 112 Pleasant St,
Chichester, NH 03258
Phone: +1 (603) 717-1818

Ragged View Farm, Andover, NH

Ragged View Farm, Andover NH

Ragged View Farm in Andover is a farm that raises pigs, cows and produces homemade maple syrup from the local maple trees. Growing up working on his uncle’s farm, Mark Cowdrey is no amateur when it comes to farming. Originally working as a carpenter, he began becoming more invested in his small, at-home farm when jobs began to grow scarce. With hard work and dedication, Mark took on the challenge of turning his 18 acres of land into the farm he had always dreamed of.

Address: 111 Bradley Lake Rd,
Andover, NH 03216
Phone: +1 (603) 724-7511

 

Harding Hill Farm, Sunapee, NH

Harding Hill Farm, Sunapee NH

Harding Hill Farm in Sunapee is a 3rd generation family farm provides sustainable forest management services, sells firewood, maple syrup and raises a small herd of grass-fed beef cattle. Founded by Richard H. Webb in 1948, the farm includes a large white farm-house, a red barn with a cupola and solar panels, and spacious fields surrounded by forest. Richard purchased the property with the intent to run a bed and breakfast near the Mt. Sunapee ski area which opened in the same year.

Address: 524 Stagecoach Rd,
Sunapee, NH 03782
Phone: +1 603-742-8495

Contoocook Creamery at Bohanan Farm, Contoocook, NH

Contoocook Creamery at Bohanan Farm, Contoocook NH

Along the banks of the Contoocook River sits a family-run, community-loved Contoocook Creamery at Bohanan Farm. Bohanan Farm has been a thriving farm since the turn of the 20th century. Established by Lester Bohanan, it has been in his family for generations, with his great-granddaughter Heather and her husband, Jamie Robinson, its current owners. Bohanan Farm is home to 230 milk cows that produce 38,000 8 oz. servings every day.

Address: 945 Penacook Rd,
Hopkinton, NH 03229
Phone: +1 (603) 717-5873


Lewis Farm, Concord, NH

Lewis Farm, Concord, NH

Lewis Farm, less that 3 miles away from Concord center is sustainable family owned and operated farm with a CSA & Farm Stand, dedicated to supporting the local Concord community. In 1992, early in Harry Lewis’s farming career, he decided to raise flowers. “I had 650 hanging baskets that year,” he says, “but it was such a cold, wet spring and summer, no one was buying flowers. I sold only one!” The heartbreak he felt way back then still carries in his voice. “I couldn’t compete with big box stores that sold flowers for half the price. After that, I began raising vegetables. People have to eat.”

Address: 192 Silk Farm Rd,
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: +1 (603) 228-6230

Farm Profiles April 2019

Meadowstone Farm, Bethlehem NH

Meadowstone Farm, Bethlehem NH

If one were to find themselves on Brook Road in Bethlehem New Hampshire, it would be wise to make a stop at Meadowstone Farm! A tin horse drawn hay rake mounted upright is the landmark to look for. The rake guards a bridge over quaint meandering stream trickling underneath. Since they purchased the land 14 years ago, farm owners Tim and Jess have been creating an environment of agriculture, education, and community.

Address: 809 Brook Road,
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Phone: +1 (603) 444-0786

Dimond Hill Farm, Concord, NH

Dimond Hill Farm, Concord, NH

From its inception in 1827 until the mid-1950s, Dimond Hill was a living example of the storybook version of a New England family farm. For five generations the family milked a herd of Ayrshire cows, raised pigs and chickens for consumption, kept draft and riding horses, harvested hay and silage, and raised a variety of vegetables. In the mid-1950s, dairy production took center stage as the family moved into selling milk and cream, delivering them in farm-labeled glass bottles to local area homes. Dairy production transitioned into growing vegetables and fruits in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Address: 314 Hopkinton Rd,
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: +1 (603-496-8218


Field to Fork Farm, Chester, NH

Field to Fork Farm, Chester, NH

Field to Fork Farm is as much a literal description as it is a clever title, as farmer/owner Patrick Connelly firmly believes that products derived straight from pasture-raised, organically fed animals are the best available.

This belief is primarily rooted in nutrition, as Connelly and his wife Daniela both have a background in the field of health. They met at Boston University while pursuing their Masters in Public Health and moved to South Africa after graduation to work for the treatment of HIV/AIDS (Patrick as a health economist and Daniela as a medical doctor).

Address: 522 Haverhill Rd,
Chester, NH 03036
Phone: +1 603-548-4331

 

Emery Farm, Durham, NH

Emery Farm, Durhan, NH

Emery Farm has been in the family for eleven generations. The farm sells annual and perennial plants and flowers, pick your own strawberries and blueberries, large variety of fresh vegetables, pumpkins, grown on the farm. Other local products available including baked goods, locally made crafts, jams and fall mum. Also, Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas trees and wreaths are available in season. On-site farmstand open seasonally.

Address: 147 Piscataqua Rd,
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: +1 603-742-8495

Beaver Pond Farm, Newport, NH

Beaver Pond Farm, Newport, NH

A “National Bicentennial Farm,” as it was chopped out of virgin woodland in 1780, now has a thriving maple sugaring business with 2,500 taps for New Hampshire graded syrup beginning in March. During the summer their crops include a pick your own raspberry patch and blueberries and vegetables at the stand. Fall is pumpkin and apple season and in December there are wreaths made from their own brush and trees grown on the farm. Also, other local products available.

Address: 50 McDonough Road & 1047, John Stark Hwy,
Newport, NH 03773
Phone: +1 603-543-1107


Minglewood Farm, Laconia, NH

Minglewood Farm, Laconia, NH

Tucked away in Laconia, New Hampshire is a 17-acre property owned by Karen and Tom Barker. One-tenth of an acre is now occupied by Minglewood Farm- a highly productive “nano farm” appropriately named after the Grateful Dead song “New Minglewood Blues” due to the diversity of hard and soft wood forests surrounding the property. Though the farm itself may be small in size, the techniques and care put into each garden largely influence the sustainability and health of the surrounding forests and ecosystems.

Address: 129 Lane Rd,
Laconia, NH 03246
Phone: +1 (603) 528-8560

Farm Profiles March 2019

Muster Field Farm, North Sutton, NH

	 Muster Field Farm, North Sutton, NH

The wonderful Muster Field Farm is a farm that has a lot of historical value in the tiny town of Sutton, New Hampshire. The farm was founded as the Harvey Homestead in 1772 by Matthew Harvey. The original house that was built had burnt down in 1787. The current house that is on the property was built shortly after, but has expanded since it was built. The new house was used as a tavern for the locals to drink at, the first post office and first library in Sutton, and a home for the descendants of the Harveys. In total, eight generations of Harvey descendants lived on the farm and added to it.

Address: PO Box 118 Harvey Rd,
North Sutton, New Hampshire 03260
Phone: +1 603-927-4276

Canterbury Aleworks, Canterbury, NH

Canterbury Aleworks, Canterbury, NH

Canterbury Aleworks is a small brewery established in 2012. Located in Canterbury, New Hampshire, the brewery is run by Steve Allman, with help from his family.

In 1985 Steve Allman bought 72 acres of land and in 1987 built a small cabin that he would call home. He named his farm “Hidden Wonders” because of its hidden location and reputation as “the seven wonders of Canterbury” and began producing vegetables and meat for his family in 1996

Address: 305 Baptist Hill Rd,
Canterbury, NH 03224
Phone: +1 603-491-4539

 

Krebs Farm, Sanbornton, N.H.

Krebs Farm, Sanbornton, N.H.

Please excuse my appearance, I’ve been slaughtering chickens all morning” Ralph Rathjen explains. His jeans are covered in dirt, dried blood, and a few stray chicken feathers. Ralph Rathjen, owner of KREBS Farm, walks around his property with his dog Holly, a black-lab mix who, a rescue dog, trails along behind him.
“I always get phone calls asking if Mr. Krebs is around,” Ralph laughs, “but Mr. Krebs doesn’t exist. That’s not my name.” He explains that KREBS is actually the initials of all his family members: his wife Kristen, Ralph, and his children Elizabeth, Ben and Sophie.

Address: 315 Upper Bay Rd,
Sanbornton, NH 03269
Phone: +1 603-556-9249

 

Ski Hearth Farm, Sugar Hill, NH

Ski Hearth Farm, Sugar Hill, NH

With a vast view of Franconia Ridge and Cannon Mountain across the widespread field, Ski Hearth Farm is picturesque and “sells itself”, according to farm manager David White. The historic farm house- one of the oldest structures found in the area- is a reminder of the long history of the farm property and its previous owners. Beginning with Selden Hannah’s famous potato farm in the 1940’s, to Olympic Skier Bode Miller, to present-day owner Davis Mangold, Ski Hearth has been an important resource in the agricultural and agri-tourism community of the North Country.

Address: 392 Streeter Pond Rd,
Sugar Hill, NH 03586
Phone: +1 603-823-5560

 

Bartlett Farm Dairy, Concord, NH

Bartlett Farm Dairy, Concord, NH

Bartlett Farm Dairy in Concord is a family farm, through and through. Scott and Craig’s great-grandfather bought the land in 1924 and built a second story on on the house to accommodate his seven children. Today, Scott and his father, Alan, manage the farming, while brother Craig focuses on marketing their milk to local outlets. Scott always knew he would continue the family legacy, leaving only for a brief time to earn a degree in animal science before returning to the farm. The Bartletts were able to begin selling and marketing their own milk in 2011 when Craig rejoined the family business.

Address: 471 Josiah Bartlett Road,
Concord, New Hampshire 03301
Phone: +1 603-731-3213

 

Ledge Top Farm, Wilton, NH

Ledge Top Farm, Wilton, NH

With the help of a co-worker and some pigs with appetites, a garden was rooted out and cleared into three acres of fertile land. Tom Mitchell, a Milford (NH) High School biology teacher, began the creation of Ledge Top Farm. Tom recalls, “When I started planting rhubarb back in 1975, I hit ledge within six inches. It seemed all digging projects hit ledge, so being at the top of a hill, the name came together.” Tucked away in the woods of Wilton, New Hampshire, Tom found his unexpected calling. Ledge Top Farm operates under an organic version of the Golden Rule because Tom “wouldn’t want to eat food that has chemicals,” and, therefore, refuses to sell such crops to his community.

Address: 487 Lyndeborough Rd,
Wilton, NH 03086
Phone: +1 603-620-7302

 

Spring Hill Farm, Sanbornton, NH

Spring Hill Farm, Sanbornton, NH

“Health, Heritage, Harmony” – words written boldly on the sign for Spring Hill Farm, an 85 acre farm in the small town of Sanbornton, New Hampshire…When asked to elaborate, Eric said, “For ‘health,’ the Hippocrates quote, ‘let food be thy medicine’ sums it up.” For “heritage,” he’s talking about his passion for preserving the land, the animal breeds he’s raising, and their 1800s house. As for “harmony,” a visitor can see such concord in the use of livestock, compost, and minerals to restore the soil in order to grow the most nutritious and robust fruits and vegetables.

Address: 165 Hunkins Pond Rd,
Sanbornton, NH 03269
Phone: +1 603-957-1186

Farm Profiles February 2019

Riley’s Farm, Epping, NH

Riley’s Farm, Epping, NH

Riley’s Farm is a “no judgment zone,” as the goal is to create and build positive relationships with horses and riders of all levels. Linsay personifies that philosophy as she offers a quick hello to each of her horses who eagerly watch and nicker to her upon her approach, their actions demonstrating the respect and trust each has for the other. So whether you are contemplating sitting in a saddle for the first time ever or want to take the next step to advance your horsemanship skills, be sure to check out what Riley’s Farm can offer you!

Address: 74 Hedding Road (Rte 87),
Epping, NH, 03042
Phone: +1 603-793-9919

Pinewoods Yankee Farm, Lee, NH

Pinewoods Yankee Farm, Lee, NH

Tina and her husband, Erick, established the farm about 30 years ago, with the name originating from a dog kennel that Erick’s father once owned. Little did they know that the purchase of a herd of Angus cattle from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) would provide the foundation for Pinewoods Yankee Farm.

Address: 93 North River Road,
Lee, New Hampshire 03861
Phone: +1 603-659-8106

 

Back 40 Acre Farm, Chester, NH

Back 40 Acre Farm, Chester, NH

Fresh, natural, and local are only a few of many words to describe the quality of the products available at Back 40 Acre Farm. Bill Ahie is the “chief cook and bottle washer” and proud of it. His attention to detail is paramount, and he sees to the daily order of tasks that call on him from all around the farm. He is on the go 24/7 with many projects on the “to do” list. This former Army Veteran from the Vietnam era and canine police officer for many years continues to be on a mission. The farm is his mission, and nothing is overlooked.

Address: 75 Fremont Road,
Chester, New Hampshire 03036
Phone: +1 603 300-6956

 

Robie Farm, Piermont, NH

Robie Farm, Piermont, NH

One of the staples at Robie Farm is their raw milk. This milk has three very important purposes. It is used for their cheeses, which are made on site, and it is also sold and used to feed calves. As of 2016, they have about 20 dairy cows that are milked daily. Lee milks the cows two days a week, while Mark milks them the rest of the week. Each of their cows has a name, and they keep track of lineage by naming each calf using the first letter of the mother’s name.

Address: 25 Route 10, 
Piermont, NH 03779
Phone: +1 603-272-4872

 

Barker’s Farm, Stratham, NH

Barker’s Farm, Stratham, NH

Approximately 35 – 40 of the 80 acres that belong to Barker’s Farm is under production with a variety of produce and flowers. The fields are surrounded by wooded areas that also connect to conservation land and town parks such as Stratham Hill Park. Edie’s passion for the area and cultivation of healthy produce is evident in her tone as she describes how the land is cared for.

Address: 216 Portsmouth Ave,
Stratham, NH 03885
Phone: +1 603 778-1039

 

Victory Aquaponics, Londonderry, NH

Victory Aquaponics, Londonderry, NH

Ross feeds the fish a vegetarian diet of organic grain. The water flows from the fish tanks into a biological filter filled with small plastic balls with spiked protrusions where the ammonia in the waste produced by the fish is converted by beneficial bacteria first into nitrites then nitrates
which is what the plants thrive on.

Address: 17 Brewster Rd,
Londonderry, NH 03038
Phone: +1 781-974-0908

 

Greenhill Collective Farm, Sutton, NH

Greenhill Collective Farm, Sutton, NH

Greenhill Collective Farm, located in Sutton, New Hampshire, is a small, off the grid, certified organic farm owned and operated by Ben Dobrowski and his family. The “Collective” part of the farm name is related to the vision of eventually renting out small portions of the farm to people that want to farm but don’t have the land to. They specialize in the production of organic vegetables sold to the community at local farmers markets and through their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program.

Address: 475 Birch Hill Rd
Sutton, NH 03278
Phone: +1 603 540-1156

Farm Profiles January 2019

Stuart Farm, Stratham, NH

Stuart Farm, Stratham, NH

For nearly six decades, the Stuart Farm, with its rolling hills and dairy cows, has been a landmark in Stratham, New Hampshire. Located near the Great Bay Estuary, Stuart Farm is one of the first farms to be conserved by the state of New Hampshire.

Address: 73 College Rd
Stratham, New Hampshire 03885
Phone: +1 603-772-3059

 

DeMeritt Hill Farm, Lee, NH

DeMeritt Hill Farm - Lee, NH

Diversification is a key word in the vocabulary of the Wilson family, and diversify they have! Pick-your-own blueberries, apples, pumpkins, and occasionally peaches are available in season. Sweet breads, many featuring the farm’s own fruit, are baked right on the farm in a commercial kitchen. No matter the season, homemade apple cider donuts are always a favorite with the crowds. Demeritt Hill Farm hosts multiple events throughout the year including a haunted Halloween hayride.

Address: 20 Orchard Way
Lee, New Hampshire 03861
Phone: +1 603-868-2111

 

Lull Farm, Hollis & Milford, NH

Lull Farm Milford New Hampshire

Lull Farm isn’t exactly a rural, Sunday afternoon drive destination. Seven days a week, visitors pass a shopping center and several fields before parking in the car-dotted lot off of Route 130 in Hollis. They emerge beneath some massive willow trees before entering a bustling, bursting-at-the-seams food market.
Before even getting in the door, shoppers weave between boxes of 70 different heirloom tomato varieties. Inside, rows of produce lead to the bakery, cheese counter, cut flower display and shelves of local value-added products – all the fruits of “Farmer Dave” Orde’s labor.

Address: 615 Rte 13 N/S
Milford NH 03055
Phone: +1 603 673-3119

 

Brookford Farm, Canterbury, NH

Brookford Farm, Canterbury NH

Catarina and Luke Mahoney met at a farm near St. Petersburg, Russia in the fall of 1999 and lived there for five years. This 240-acre diversified, biodynamic farm was set up to provide a healthy living and working environment for handicapped individuals. At the farm they were exposed to many different aspects of agriculture and sustainable living.

Address: 250 West Rd.
Canterbury, NH
Phone: +1 603 742-4084

 

Gould Hill Farm, Contoocook, NH

Gould Hill Farm, Contoocook, NH

As with many modern farmers, Tim and Amy Bassett would like to be working their land full time and with total devotion; after all, farming is in their blood. Tim is a fourth generation farmer, growing up on their family dairy farm, now run by his brother in Woodstock, Vermont. Amy’s grandfather, was a dairy farmer as well in Landaff, New Hampshire. But time and conditions impose the same challenges on farmers as they do on all families, and children of the earth cannot always carry on the traditions which they have been raised in and love as in the old days.

Address: 656 Gould Hill Road
Contoocook, NH 03229
Phone: +1 603 746-3811

 

Miles Smith Farm, Loudon, NH

Miles Smith Farm, Loudon, NH

In the mid-1800s Miles Smith, a mason and farmer, cleared his land, built a house, raised a family, erected time-honored stone walls and pastured pigs, goats and dairy cattle. Today as an enduring reminder of that redoubtable heritage Miles Smith is buried in a cemetery on the land where he toiled. And while it may seem a tad fanciful, Carole Soule and Bruce Dawson, the current owners will, from time to time, visit the old owner’s grave for reflection and inspiration. In any event, Miles Smith still seems to wield considerable influence.

Address: 56 Whitehouse Road
Loudon, NH 03307
Phone: +1 603 783 5159

 

Devriendt Farm, Goffstown, NH

Devriendt Farm, Goffstown, NH

Lea, with soil under her fingernails and hands stained pink from strawberries, said, “Farming is a seven-day-a-week job for everyone in the family.” They start their greenhouses the last week in January, growing annuals, potted perennials, vegetables, and herbs. The farmstand, nursery, and ice cream stand are open from the end of April through the end of October.

Address: 178 S. Mast St.
Goffstown, NH 03045
Phone: +1 603 497-2793

Learn About Organic Agriculture

Learn the basics of organic agriculture from soil preparation, fertilization and plant maintenance. We overview the methods most common in organic farming.

Organic agriculture is the practice of growing crops using only organic ingredients, from the fertilizer that provides nutrients to plants to the foliar spray used to prevent pests. USDA organic regulations restrict the use of conventional farming practices such as using pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.

Organically-grown food is considered premium and is often sold at  higher prices than non-organic food. The popularity of organically-grown vegetables, fruits and buds may continue to grow in the consumer market.

From afar, it’s easy to look at organic gardening with skepticism, as not all methods shared in books, databases and online line-up with each other, making organic agriculture seem disorganized.

However, within the scope of organic growing a few key practices are usually followed:

  • Soil testing, to analyze the nutrient profile of the soil used to grow plants in.
  • Soil preparation, by mixing soil mediums, tillage of the ground, or mulching and permaculture techniques.
  • The addition of organic matter into the soil, such as compost.
  • The application of animal manure, for providing plants with nitrogen and other nutrients.
  • Usage of mineral and bone powders as a source of nutrients.
  • Mulching with leaf litter, grass clippings or hay.
  • Crop inspection, removal of infected plants by hand or with natural alternatives to chemical pesticides/fungicides.

Soil Testing

Soil Testing

The soil in your garden or farm can be sent to a co-op for a small fee to analyze the nutrient content. This will help you better understand the right amendments to use when crop planning. There are various co-op extensions throughout the country that provide soil tests, where you can send in a sample of your own, like the UNH Cooperative Extension.

Soil Preparation

Tractor Tilling

Compacted soil makes it hard for developing roots to push through and expand, which in-turn leads to less available resources for the plant to use. Optimizing the consistency of the soil plays a major role in promoting fast and healthy roots. Soil is aerated by farmers usually by tilling, with some farmers and gardeners doing more niche techniques such as permaculture and layering of soil with compost.

The microbiology of soil can only survive in a small range deeper or shallower from it’s natural habitat in the soil. This means that disturbance of soil ends up destroying some natural microbial life contained. In best practice, tilling and excessive disturbance of the soil layers are to be avoided if possible, although the trade-off of compacted soil may be worse which leaves the farmer with an ultimatum.

Introducing Organic Matter into the Soil

compost

Compost is simply rotted organic matter. Adding compost to soil is good for soil structure, as the air contained helps to aerate the root zone around crops. Compost is also beneficial to the microbiology that lives within soils. As the compost decomposes, natural bacteria and fungi work to process the excess nutrients, while providing additional perks to plants such as mycorrhizal fungi, a natural fungus that helps plants absorb the mineral phosphorus and other nutrients in a sort of symbiotic relationship with the plant.

Organic matter such as compost, grass clipping and leaf litter can be incorporated into the soil. However consider withholding non-decomposed “woody” material such as wood chips, as a significant amount of nitrogen is needed which may be stolen from the plant.

The Application of Manure

chicken manure 3-2-2

Manure is used for crops as a natural form of nitrogen and other major, minor and micro-nutrients. Chicken manure is the most commonly used animal manure in agriculture that farmers buy or produce. Rated around a 3-2-2 NPK, chicken manure is a suitable growth fertilizer for a wide range of crops. Other animal manures used include pig manure, goat manure, cow manure and more.

Vermiculture or the use of worm castings in soil has shown to be very popular among organic gardeners and farmers. The nutrient profile of worm castings is made by what ingredients were used to feed the worms.

Usage of Mineral and Bone Powders

dolomite-lime

Mineral, rock and bone powders are used to alter the chemical composition of the soil, organically. Here are a few examples:

  • Dolomite lime is a common soil amendment used to naturally raise the pH of soil. A soil test will determine whether lime application is necessary for your area.
  • Bone meal is a high source of calcium, magnesium nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other vital nutrients for plant growth.
  • Greensand, mined from glauconitic sandstone deposits in shallow sedimentary basins on the ocean floor, is a rich source of glauconite, high in iron, potassium and magnesium. (Thanks Erick)

Mulching

mulch

Mulch is used to cover the bare topsoil around a plant’s root-zone. A mulch helps to preserve water, as the sun’s rays make the plant perspire and lose moisture. Typically only a mulch of 1-5 inches is recommended, as thicker mulches may harbor pests and take away from the available nitrogen surrounding the plant. A thin-material mulch is preferred, such as high-nitrogen grass clippings.

Crop Inspection

crop inspection

Organically-grown crops are usually more prone to pest attack and disease than crops grown using chemical pesticides. This means manual inspection of plants should be done more frequently, to try and minimize the spread of such injuries.

Natural pesticide and fungicide options include a strong and spicy oils, chili pepper, peppermint, soap, and also “alive” microbial agents.

Farm Profiles December 2018

Butternut Farm, Farmington, NH

Butternut Farm, Farmington, NH

This was a relatively young fruit farm when Giff Burnap and his wife, Mae, purchased it in 2005. The previous owners of the former dairy farm began to implement the “pick your own” fruit model in the late 1980s. Since acquiring the farm, the Burnaps have almost doubled its size and have also added cherries to their extensive list of produce.

Address: 195 Meaderboro Rd
Farmington, NH 03835
Phone: +1 603 335-4705
Website: http://www.butternutfarm.net/

 

Wintergreens Farm and Aquaponics, North Stratford, NH Wintergreens Farm and Aquaponics, North Stratford, NH

Wintergreens Farm and Aquaponics, North Stratford, NH

Wintergreens is a member of the North Country Farmers Co-op, which is a cooperative of farmers that grow and collectively sell to restaurants in the area. Kitty also sells her fruits and vegetables at the Farm Market Place in Colebrook, NH, and at the Root Cellar in Lancaster, NH.

Address: 10 Baldwin Street
North Stratford, NH 03590
Phone: +1 603 922-3451
Website: http://www.wintergreensap.com/

 

Holly Gowdy, Brookfield Farm, Walpole, NH

Holly Gowdy, Brookfield Farm, Walpole, NH

Brookfield Farm is as rich in history as it is in sustaining a rich and fulfilling agricultural way of life for the Gowdy family. “At the end of the day, when all the cows, sheep, the cat, and the dog are here, and everyone is okay, and nothing needs attention— that is my greatest pleasure,” says Holly. “I’m happier than I’ve ever been.”

Address: 460 Old Drewsville Rd.
Walpole, NH 03608
Phone: +1 603 445-5104
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Brookfield-Farm-1423240087971584/

 

Ridge View Farm, Gilsum, NH

Ridge View Farm, Gilsum, NH

Her biggest sellers are perennials and veggie starts. They are all non-GMO, and open-pollinated when possible, but Jenny does sell hybrids. She also supplies bedding plants to the City of Keene, so her products can be seen brightening areas within town.

Address: 171 Belvedere Rd
Gilsum, NH 03448
Phone: +1 603 352-9044
Website: https://www.ridgeviewfarmnh.com/

 

Lancaster Floral Design & Garden Center, Lancaster, NH

Lancaster Floral Design & Garden Center, Lancaster, NH

Lancaster Floral Design & Garden Center now comprises a full-service floral shop as well as selling annuals, perennial shrubs and flowers, vegetable seedlings, and seeds, a variety of compost materials, kiln dried firewood, and an array of items from their shop that ranges from pet food and livestock feed to birdseed and fresh eggs and veggies.

Address: 306 Main St.
Lancaster, NH 03584
Phone: +1 603 788-3311
Website: http://www.lancasterfloraldesign.net/

 

Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs, Monroe, NH

Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs, Monroe, NH

Whether they’re laying in Monroe or elsewhere, Pete and Gerry’s hens have access to large open areas outside for much of the day. They are free to peck at bugs hidden in the grass and scratch at the dirt; basically, they’re invited to act like chickens. Pete and Gerry’s technicians visit each of the partner farms weekly to ensure the company’s standards are met and help farmers work through any questions or challenges that arise.

Address: 140 Buffum Road
Monroe, NH 03771
Phone: +1 800 210-6657
Website: https://www.peteandgerrys.com/