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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: 2024 • 2023 • 2022 • 2021 • 2020 • 2019 • 2018

Meet Our Members May 2024

Philip Cody and Zuzu Taytslin of Zulip Farms

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Philip Cody and Zuzu Taytslin live in the house Philip grew up in. His parents relocated to Boston when he was in high school but kept their home in Weare as a summer and weekend retreat.    

“It became harder to get back to Weare on weekends with sports and other high school commitments and in college even more so,” Philip recalls, “but in the end I ended up back where I’ve always considered home.” 

“My parents had no interest in farming, but I always wanted to be a farmer. I remember growing watermelons here one summer and bringing dozens of them into my middle school to give away when school started.”

Philip and Zuzu met while working in Boston in 2018 and moved back to the house in Weare four years ago. They wanted to farm, but starting seemed very intimidating.

“I was really inspired by some books I read,” Philip says. “It was a combination of Michael Pollan books and Folks, This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin that got me hooked. I read classics like Mollison’s permaculture book, The Good Life by Helen and Scott Nearing, and Masanobu Fukuoka’s One-Straw Revolution. And Wendell Berry of course.”

“Our heaviest influences are J. Russell Smith and Mark Shepard. Reading Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture and Restoration Agriculture provided us with our founding principles and philosophy. I could go on and on about what I love about these books but to sum it up as briefly as I can: A 700-year-old chestnut grove. That’s sustainable agriculture.”

“The first couple of years were mainly clearing pine trees, rocks and poison ivy from the land. I’m still dealing with a clan of woodchucks living under the deck, but that’s farming in NH. Most of the things we’ve planted like fruit trees, blueberries, hazelnuts, and kiwi berries are years away from maturity. Last summer, we started getting lots of honey and shiitake and became real farmers.”

Renting out their home provides Philip and Zuzu with cash flow while the perennial crops mature.  Their grand vision is to rent their house and a series of eco-oriented cabins in the woods with lots of trails and agriculture. They have 20+ acres of forest where they harvest oak for growing shitake plus two acres of open space for everything else.

“What we love about farming isn’t just growing food,” Philip continues, “It’s the whole experience - the aesthetics, the stewardship of the land on which we live and work and are deeply connected. Sharing that experience by allowing others to stay here for a long weekend or a couple of weeks is a win-win in terms of values and monetary sustainability. “

“We named the farm Zulip (Zuzu + Philip) because it’s a marriage of our labors, our passions and the fulfillment of our dreams,” Zuzu explains. “There’s no way I would have ever attempted this without a strong and able partner to take it on with.”

Philip and Zuzu currently produce mushrooms, raspberries and honey. They plan to have their first blueberries next year, hazelnuts in a few more years, and apples sometime after. 

“We planted all standard root stock so the trees would outlive us, but it can take 10 years before you really get apples from standard root stock,” Philip states. “We put in a kiwi berry vineyard this spring, which we’re very excited about. After visiting Iago Hale’s kiwi berry vineyard at UNH, we were absolutely sold.“

“We exclusively raise shitake mushrooms right now because of the plentiful red oak in our woods. The flavor of mushrooms traditionally grown on oak logs rather than a substrate in a grow-room is unparalleled. You really have to try them to believe it.”

“We cut oak trees in late winter to inoculate with shiitake spawn in March.  When we’re all done, we load the 40” logs, known as bolts, onto sleds and pull them through the snow out of the woods. The whole process of felling trees in the winter and sledding them out with Zuzu is my favorite activity.”

“Our most labor intensive and least profitable crop is raspberries.  They start producing quite quickly, but it didn’t go well last summer due to spotted wing drosophila and the constant rain and moisture.”

“Honey is Zuzu’s department. She absolutely adores working with her bees. Last year’s honey was   hands-down the best I’ve ever tasted in spite of the fact it was her first year of actual production. She ended up with around 80 pounds, so we didn’t even have enough for our neighbors who kept coming back for seconds and thirds. We’re definitely going to expand that part of our business.”

Customers will find Zulip Farms produce at New Harvester Market in Henniker, Devriendt Farms in Goffstown, Contoocook Cider and Granite State Naturals in Concord. Philip and Zuzu will be at the Henniker Farmer’s market on Thursdays this season with shitake mushrooms.

“Environmental stewardship is the most important aspect of farming for us,” Zuzu says unequivocally. “Feeding people just happens to be part of farming. Watching our farm get greener and lusher year after year, seeing the increase in predatory insect activity and the arrival of new bird species, and knowing our berms are capturing water and reducing flooding in strong rain events is extremely rewarding. It’s the result of our love for the land, the environment and our home.”

“If you were to visit our farm now,” Philip says, “you’d see a relatively neat landscape with a more or less defined line between forest and field.  Just a few years ago, it was 30 years of unchecked growth of pines and brambles. It took a lot of effort just to get a clean slate to work with. We could have probably saved a couple years of work by moving somewhere that had more fertile and less hilly farmland, but that would have meant letting go of the land and home we’re attached to.”

Philip and Zuzu are strong proponents of organic farming. They believe that organic farming is the best tool we have to protect our environment. 

“We need to erase the distinction between land set aside for nature and land for us -- wilderness versus human environment,” Philip posits.  “Every activity we participate in must have harmony with earth at its core.  Putting aside wilderness conservation areas is great, but areas set aside for man are ripe for development. Disregard for nature is problematic. Organic farming solves this problem quite nicely.”

“The character and scale of New Hampshire’s farms is small and diversified. That’s a wonderful thing, but the challenges facing our planet require scale. Replacing most of the nonsense in supermarkets with nutritious and responsibly produced local food will require a major paradigm shift in how food is produced in the entire country.”

“The future for small organic farms must involve more cooperative enterprise to achieve scale, both for profitability and to make a meaningful impact. I would love to see a regional farmer owned and operated hazelnut-processing facility. I’d love to see the same for hops.  But it’s a chicken and egg problem.  Nobody is going to invest in and build a hazelnut processing facility until there’s regional demand for such a thing.  And that can’t happen until... you get the idea.”

“NOFA-NH helps build a sense of community in our state. Day to day it’s just us here on our small piece of land, but it’s wonderful be part of NOFA and know how many of us have the same goals and are doing the same thing.” 

2024

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January 2024

Alyssa McKeon & Luke Simon

Witching Hour Provisions

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February 2024

Dave Trumble & Sarah Hansen

Local Harvest CSA

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March 2024

Nancy Phillips

Heartsong Farm

2023

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February 2023

Sayer Palmer

Open Woods Farm

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July 2023

Bruce Bickford & Kirsten Anderson

Abenaki Springs Farm

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October 2023

Chuck Cox

Tuckaway Farm

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March 2023

Katie Doyle Smith & Paul Swegel

Pork Hill Farm

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August 2023

Georgia Elgar

Branch Hill Farm

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November 2023

Kathleen Dunn Jacobs & David Miller

Grounding Stone Farm

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May 2023

Ron Christie

Off the Wall Orchard

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September 2023

Bill Wardwell

Applecroft Farm

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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August 2022

Kate & Ben Dobrowski

Greenhill Farm NH

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November 2022

Sarah Hansen

Kearsarge Gore Farm/WPM

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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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September 2022

Denise Rico

Terra Organics NH

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March 2022

Stephanie Kelliher

Uphill Farm

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June 2022

Joanne Cottam

Fowl Manor Farm

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October 2022

Pierre Hahn

Kearsarge Food Hub/Sweet Beet 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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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

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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

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

2019
2020
2021
2022
2023
2024
2018
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