How long have you been a member of NOFA-NH? Since 2008! That was right around the time I really started to know a lot more about organics, organic food and organic farming. When I started opening my eyes to that, I realized I wanted to go down this path instead of a conventional one.
Why did you become a member of NOFA-NH? It was an organization that was very much in alignment with my beliefs and my philosophies and it was great to become part of a group where we all sort of have that bigger vision: that from a health stand point we want take care of ourselves, each other, and mother nature.
How has NOFA-NH impacted your business? I would say through the people that are NOFA-NH members. In particular, Lauren Chase Rowel, who is also someone involved in organic land care, and some of the other members. There was actually a period of time when we did have an organic land care group through NOFA-NH, but unfortunately - and I know it's the same thing with the farmers - you get really busy especially this time of the year, and especially as a single business owner. I just recently hired my first employee! I couldn't sustain putting my time into the organic land care group.
Beyond NOFA-NH, from a bigger standpoint, the NOFA organization, in general, was a huge support of my business foundationally, and one of the reasons I got into this business. I did the five-day organic land care course, which was through NOFA/MASS and CT-NOFA at the time. So, NOFA was an organization that I was starting to have a bigger connection with. The NOFA-NH members were a big help to my business with wisdom, support, and advice - just having conversations and talking. Even though [most members] are in the organic farming business and I'm in the organic land care business, we're both in business. So there's a lot to learn from each other. And the more I think about it, I realize I'm friends with a lot of NOFA people!
What's your number one priority for NOFA-NH this year? I did think it was important to have a NOFA-NH group that was specifically for NH organic land care professionals. This group was 3-4 years ago. I believe all of us were accredited organic land care professionals through NOFA/MASS and CT-NOFA. Eventually, once I train my employee, I'd like to investigate that piece again. I think it's really important. When you think about the bigger picture: there are organic farmers, but depending on where they are in the state, there might be a development right next door [that's spraying their lawns]. I feel the organic land care piece is so connected to the organic farming piece. And it was really nice to hang out with other organic land care people like myself. It's good to connect like that.
What advice do you have for anyone thinking about becoming a NOFA-NH member? I would say go ahead and do it! Become a member because it's an awesome group of people first off, and I think support is such a big part of this whole thing. What we're all trying to do with this organic movement, and sustainability movement, and regenerative movement in terms of land, and soils, and the food that we're growing, and the land care piece of it, and how we're caring for land, I just think it's really important [to support each other].
Generally, it's an awesome education. There are classes and seminars. You'll get all kinds of educational experiences you can take advantage of through NOFA-NH. Again, if you're interested, do it because you're trying to support this. The more people that get involved with these types of organizations the more change we're going to make. I don't know if activism is the right word, but it's a good way to be active in this type of a movement that's been going on for a long time, but that we're trying to sustain and teach to new people. Become a member because we're trying to keep all this alive, and going, and getting somewhere!
Does your business have any upcoming events you'd like to share with the community? Yes! It's a neat little event called the Dandelion Festival at the Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm in Tuftonboro on Saturday, May 19th. We all know there's a stigma against dandelions, but this event is going to have all things dandelions, and what you can do with dandelions, and they asked me to the come to the festival. So, I'm going to be there as a lawn person in support of dandelions!