Meet Our Members | February 2020
Name and Occupation: Patty Laughlin, Manager & Head Gardener
Business Name: Lorax Landscaping, LLC
How long have you been a member of NOFA-NH? Personal and/or business member since 2010
Why did you become a member of NOFA-NH? I had a strong interest in, and a little knowledge of, ecological practices when I started my horticulture training. My coursework was pretty conventional, so I did as much as I could to supplement my coursework with other educational opportunities. NOFA-NH was an obvious resource.
How has NOFA-NH impacted your business? Being a member of NOFA-NH has allowed me to continue adding to my knowledge of ecological approaches and keeps me abreast of developments in research and best practices. That education helps me serve my clients better by bringing those practices to the landscape. My education with NOFA also helps me find better ways, and language, to discuss those practices with clients.
I also love the Bulk buy program. My business is small, and I’ve yet to convince local landscape suppliers to stock organic soil amendments, so the program is often the only opportunity I have to purchase those products at a discount.
What’s your number one priority for NOFA-NH this year? Public education. One of the biggest challenges for me is educating clients. There is an unfortunate perception that ‘going organic’ just means substituting more expensive organic products for conventional ones. In reality it is a change in approach and practices and a commitment to supporting healthy sustainable ecological systems. I think we can all do more to find out where our families, friends and neighbors are on the spectrum from conventional consumerism to ecological sustainability and provide them with information, tools and support that nudge them along that path.
How could NOFA-NH better help your business grow? We are in the enviable position of having more requests for our services than we can satisfy. Finding the right staff to grow a ‘green’ business is challenging. I think NOFA can help by promoting careers in sustainable agriculture and ecology. Getting young people outside to interact with nature so that outdoor work is viewed as an enjoyable viable option is also very important.
What advice do you have for anyone thinking about becoming a NOFA-NH member? Being a member of NOFA gives you visibility into all the great work that likeminded people around the state are doing and gives you lots of options and opportunities to network, engage and learn.
Does your business have any upcoming activities or events you would like to share with the NOFA-NH community? We have a series of garden talks, Great Gardens, that is going into its third year. They take place monthly at Epping’s Harvey-Mitchell Library or at a nearby site. Check the Library’s calendar of events for dates, times and topics, http://www.eppinglibrary.com/.
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