Meet Our Members | O 2022

Name: Denise Rico

Business: Terra Organics NH

Denise Rico Bulk Order Coordinator.jpg

Meet Denise Rico, owner of certified organic family farm Terra Organics NH, located on the banks of the Blackwater River in Contoocook, NH.​

Where are you from?

Denise: I am a native Californian but grew up in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC

 

Do you come from farmers or are you a first-generation farmer?

Denise: I come from a long line of folks who loved to garden and grow food for themselves and their neighbors.

 

How long have you been farming? Why did you become a farmer and what keeps you farming?

Denise: I have been farming for market for 14 years, but still consider myself a beginner. My background is in horticulture and landscape design, and I own a small landscape company. I started growing food in 2008 when the economy crashed and landscape jobs dried up. I continue to grow food because providing people with fresh, healthy produce is rewarding.

 

What do you produce on your farm?

Denise: We grow and sell certified organic vegetables. Our hot, sandy, river-bottom soil is especially suited to growing melons.

How long have you been a member of NOFA-NH? Why did you become a member?

Denise: I have been a member of NOFA-NH for many years and I also work for the organization as their Bulk Order and Finance Coordinator. I first became a member to get the member-pricing on bulk order items (shameless plug).

Why is organic farming important to you?

Denise: Healthy, organic soil produces nutrient dense produce that does not contain pesticide residues.

What do you see in the future for small, family farms?

Denise: I would love to see more folks shopping from local farms and farmers’ markets. Gathering the foods that sustain us from our fellow farmers and makers provides a connection to our environment that has been mostly lost over the years.

How can farmers contribute toward environmental change and climate mitigation?

Denise: Local food has a much smaller carbon footprint than the food found in the supermarket. I think folks will begin to realize this as trucked products become more and more expensive due to shipping costs.

 

What advice do you have for anyone thinking about becoming an organic farmer?

Denise: My advice for anyone thinking of becoming a farmer would be to go and work a few seasons for a successful organic farm. Read books. Plan. Make sure there is a market for your produce

How does NOFA-NH membership benefit you?

Denise: I am always energized by NOFA-NH events, especially the Winter Conference for the networking opportunities and inspiring presenters.

What are you harvesting now that people can purchase from you?

Denise: It’s melon season – we still have several varieties of Contoocook-grown watermelons for sale, including our famous yellow Baby Dolls. You can purchase our melons and other produce at the Henniker Farmers’ Market every Thursday from 4:00 – 7:00 pm at Henniker’s Community Center Park.

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