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.

 

Click here to become a member or renew your membership.

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: 2021 • 2020 • 2019 • 2018

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Meet Our Members! January 2022

Name: Seth Bent & Sarah Herr

Business: Mink Meadow Farm

Seth Bent and Sarah Herr have known each other for most of their lives. Seth’s father worked for the Etna fire department, and Sarah’s father was an emergency physician. That professional relationship grew into a friendship between families. Seth and Sarah became close friends while working together on a nearby farm and eventually fell in love.

Seth’s family has lived in Etna for three generations — making hay, raising animals, and producing maple sugar. Sarah’s family moved to Etna in the 1980s. They have a small sugaring operation and a large vegetable garden.

 

"I despised garden chores when I was a kid,” Sarah confesses.

 

“Now we love the work,” says Seth. “The physical nature of it, being outdoors, the relationship with the seasons and the sunlight, farming together every day. Growing food is the best job we can think of —working for ourselves and supporting our community.”

 

Seth began working on organic vegetable farms about 7 years ago, and Sarah has worked on organic farms in the area for almost 15 years. Seth will still work part time at another farm this season, but they’ll both be full-time at Mink Meadow by 2023.

 

“We started our own business in 2020 and got our organic certification in 2021,” Sarah explains. “We produce mixed organic vegetables with aspirations to include perennial fruits. We have close to twenty acres of pasture and hay fields and five acres in combined cash and cover crop production. Over the next few years, we’ll increase our crop production acreage.”

 

The name Mink Meadow was on the deed when Seth’s grandparents bought the farm from the Hayes family. Mink Brook runs through the middle of the farm, dividing the livestock pasture and 150 year-old barn from the fields. It provides irrigation, water for the cows, and a beautiful riparian habitat for native birds (and still a few mink). Laura Bridgman, the first deaf/blind American child to gain an education, spent her childhood here in the 1830s.

 

“When I first started working on farms in the area in the early 2000s,” Sarah relates, “the mentality was that every farm needed to grow every crop. Now, many nearby farms recognize that individual farm acreage, soils, and labor availability don’t permit all of us to grow everything as well as we could. Alliances between farms seem the best way forward so that we can all be profitable and still provide the food that our communities need.

 

“Our favorite farming activity is trouble-shooting together. Coming up with a solution alone can be daunting. Seth and I have different approaches, skill sets and experience, so we’re always more confident when we brainstorm. The most joy comes out of our combined creativity.“

 

“We’re committed to organic farming,” Seth says. “Feeding the soil is the most important aspect. We’re blessed with high organic matter, so our aim is not only to preserve it, but also improve it. We have a lot to learn.

 

“Aside from our love of the work and working together every day, the constant uplifting encouragement from our families, friends, and neighbors keeps us farming. We’re part of an amazing community.”

 

“We think organic farming is not only the sustainable path forward for agriculture,” Sarah declares, “but also essential for the sustainability of our land and business to use practices that are safe for our community. Along with other organic farmers, we’re trying to combat environmental change by practicing carbon sequestration, reducing our off-farm inputs, and — some day — incorporating rotational grazing.

 

“A big challenge that small organic farms are facing is price competition from large-scale organic agribusiness. NOFA-NH membership benefits us by providing us with resources and networking

opportunities.”

 

When asked what people might be surprised to learn about them, Sarah adds with a big smile, “It won’t come as a surprise to friends and family, but we’re completely obsessed with our cat.”

 

Visit the Mink Meadow Farm website at https://www.minkmeadowfarm.com or email Sarah at sarah@minkmeadowfarm.com.

—Interview and Article by Karl Johnson, Board President

2021

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January 2021

Margaret Witham

Backyard Garlic

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April 2021

Rachel & Liz Freierman

Highwater Farm

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August 2021

Zach Nordlund & Tristan Lovecky

Waxing Moon Gardens

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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 Bake Shop

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December 2021

Kevin & Jen French

Full Moon Farm

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March 2021

Emma Dooley

Temple-Wilton Community Farm & The Cornucopia Project

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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