Meet Our Members

NOFA-NH's knowledgeable and passionate members make our organization great. That's why NOFA-NH offers our members eligibility to be featured in the 'Meet Our Members' column in our e-news.  Each month, we make our community a little closer by introducing you to someone new. Please contact us if you'd like to be featured.

 

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Please Note: The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of our members and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NOFA-NH, its staff, or Board of Directors. We reserve the right to reject content deemed unsuitable or inappropriate for our readership and distribution. 

Meet Our Members Archive: 2022 • 2021 • 2020 • 2019 • 2018

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Meet Our Members! June 2022

Name: Joanne Cottam

Business: Fowl Manor Farm

Joanne Cottam grew up in the countryside of Wilpshire, a small town in Lancashire County UK, where her grandfather was a gardener who grew much of the family’s food. Her immediate family all still live in England, so Joanne is here in this country pretty much on her own. In addition to being a farmer, she’s also a full-time social worker.

“I work with special needs kids doing animal therapy – mostly therapeutic horse riding,” she explains. “The foster care agency I work for owns farms where they do animal therapy and teach vocation skills for special need kids and adults. I focus on helping young adults 16 to 22 acquire vocational skills for the future. In addition, I host students from a local special education school, Seacoast Learning Collaborative, on my farm to help them learn skills, work with others and get some experience.”

Joanne has owned Fowl Manor Farm in Newton NH for two years and lives on the 6.5 acre farm. Her best friend, Katie Grenda, and Katie’s adopted son, Justin, help with the farm work. Justin is autistic and loves farming and fixing the farm’s machinery.

“We’re not certified organic, but we try to be biodynamic,” Joanne continues. “Genetic diversity worked for farmers in the past, so why not now. I favor animals that are naturally resistant to various diseases and have low parasite loads, like Soay sheep. They can live outside on pasture 24/7/365.”

“My Soays are a rare Scottish breed and fit my goal of animal preservation. They’re small, very primitive and easily handled by one person. They love to escape, however, and we had a police standoff in town for a while trying to catch them. They have very nice meat, even though you don’t get a great deal. It’s super tasty and leaner than I expected, so I gave some to friends to try. I’ll probably start selling it next year.”

“The ewes don’t produce a great deal of wool and naturally shed their coat, so you need to catch them before they rub it all off. The ram has a thicker coat and needs to be sheered. I sell the raw wool.”

“To diversify my farm, I added poultry,” Joanne recalls. “I already had some ducks and had previously raised chickens. It just expanded from there. I love all the different breeds and colors and put rainbow eggs in my dozens. My hens are all free range, so collecting eggs is like an Easter egg hunt every day. And my hens do tricks for mealworms.”

“I came across some Royal Palm turkeys and liked the color, so I added them. I don’t have any right now, but I do have Bourbon Reds and Blue Slates. Then I bought some Cotton Patch geese. My grandmother had geese, and these looked like the same kind. They’re very easy keepers and pretty friendly as geese go. All of my livestock is slow grow and free range.”

Joanne distributes her produce from a farm stand outside her farm and at local farmers markets. She only sells retail at the moment and doesn’t yet produce enough for very large orders.

Taking good care of her animals is very important to Joanne. While some may end up being food, she believes they all should have a good quality of life. She strongly believes in preserving animal diversity and taking care of the land for the next generation.

“I’m not into large-scale factory farming and have a low number of animals per acre compared to many farms,” she adds.  “I love hosting volunteers and anyone who wants to see what real farming is like. I enjoy sharing and teaching.”

“Organic farming is the only way for the future— preserving diversity and naturally managing pests and plants. I want to see more community support for local farms with neighbors and local retailers helping to preserve them. The average consumer does not understand how much work goes into organic farming and is often reluctant to pay higher prices—even for a superior product.”

“Farmers are close to environmental change. They see the natural cycles first hand. They see crops grow or fail. They need to stand up and be a voice for everyone. If there are no farms, there will be no food.”

Your can reach Joanne by visiting her website at www.fowlmanorfarm.com or by email at farmher@fowlmanorfarm.com.

—Interview and Article by Karl Johnson, Board Vice President

2022

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January 2022

Seth Bent & Sarah Herr

Mink Meadow Farm

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April 2022

Andrew Morin

ReGenerative Roots Association

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February 2022

Ayn Whytemare

Found Well Farm

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May 2022

Phil & Becky Brand

Brandmoore Farm

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March 2022

Stephanie Kelliher

Uphill Farm

2021

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January 2021

Margaret Whitham, Rebecca Hennessey

Backyard Garlic

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April 2021

Rachel and Liz Freierman

Highwater Farm

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August 2021

Zach Nordlund and Tristan Lovecky

Waxing Moon Farm

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November 2021

Steve & Dawn Forde

Hop N Hen Farm

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February 2021

Sue Greene

Slopeside Farm

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May 2021

Steve Haendler

Mildred's Drumlin Farm

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September 2021

Sönke Dornblut

Juniper Cottage Bakeshop

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December 2021

Kevin and Jen French

Full Moon Farm

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March 2021

Emma Dooley

Temple Wilton Community Farm

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June 2021

Hari Adhikari & Prem Khatiwada

Fresh Start Farms

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October 2021

Sarah Gilliatt

Main Street Cheese

2020

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January 2020

Ray Conner and Hugh Herr

Mermaid Hill Vineyard

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May 2020

Patti Powers

Cheshire Garden

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August 2020

Tom Mitchell

Ledge Top Farm

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December 2020

Ron Laurence

Blueberry Bay Farm

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February 2020

Patty Laughlin

Lorax Landscaping, LLC

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June 2020

Larry Pletcher

Vegetable Ranch

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September 2020

Paul & Deb Doscher

Windcrest Farm

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March 2020

John E. Carroll

Dept of Natural Resources and Environment (COLSA), UNH

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July 2020

Jess and Dan Boynton, Suellen Skinner

Serendipity Farm

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November 2020

K. Kyle Saltonstall

Saltonstall Farm

2019

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January 2019

Dave Trumble

Good Earth Farm

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May 2019

Jennifer Wilhelm

Fat Peach Farm

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September 2019

Natalie Reid

Gap Mountain Goats

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December 2019

Dan Lagueux

Hip Peas Farm

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February 2019

Gene Jonas

Hungry Bear Farm

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June 2019

Ted Lebow

Kitchen Table Consultants

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October 2019

Teresa Downey

Terra Basics

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April 2019

Mike Madden

Scooter's Farm of Woodmont

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August 2019

Maggie and Ben O'Brien

Three Sisters Farm

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November 2019

Mark Wilson and Mari Princiotta

Marimark Farms

2018

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March 2018

Mary MacNicol

Whole Health Chiropractic

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June 2018

Paul & Joan Richardson

Grand View Farm

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October 2018

Julie Davenson

Stonewall Farm

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April 2018

Tracie Loock

Tracie's Community Farm

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July 2018

Clai Lasher-Sommers & Grace Glasson

New Dawn Farm

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November 2018

Ryan Foster

Home Grown Edible Landscaping & Nursery

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May 2018

Britt Phillips

Complete Land Organics

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August 2018

Irene LeMessurier

Temple Mountain Permaculture

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December 2018

Joanne Ducas

Mountain Heartbeet