Meet Our Members | September 2020
Name and Occupation: Paul and Deb Doscher, Owners
Business Name: Windcrest Farm
How long have you been a member of NOFA-NH? 40+ years. Paul was a board member in the 1980s and served as President for a year.
Why did you become a member of NOFA-NH? We joined when we lived in Hancock and had an intensive organic garden. Shortly after that we moved to Weare and started a small market garden. At the time we were friends of NOFA-NH co-founder, Samuel Kaymen and his family and Paul worked part-time with Samuel and Gary Hirschberg helping start up Stonyfield Farm Yogurt in Wilton.
How has NOFA-NH impacted your business? Early on in our farming experience we depended on other NOFA members and the annual conference to help us get started and gain knowledge on soil building, pest and disease management, varietal selections, etc. For our first decade one of us was a teacher, so we had summers to devote to the farm and we expanded our vegetable and flower operation to about an acre, and sold primarily through what is now called a CSA and at the Concord Farmer’s Market. Much of what we learned came from fellow NOFA members, NOFA publications and the annual summer conference.
What’s your number one priority for NOFA-NH this year? Continue to expand our knowledge of how organic methods sequester carbon and how gardeners and farmers can help address climate change through methods proven to reduce their carbon footprint.
How could NOFA-NH better help your business grow? We transitioned from growing vegetables to organic “cut your own” Christmas Trees about 25 years ago. Since then we have created a very successful operation, and sell out every season without any advertising. Last year we decided to begin the process of retiring from the operation, have discontinued planting trees and will continue to sell trees for another 7 or 8 years before shutting down. So we do not need any assistance helping our business grow. At some point we’ll have to move from the farm, and hope that when that happens, NOFA may be able to help us find younger farmers that will be able to purchase our solar home, woodlot and farm and give it a new life as an organic operation.
What advice do you have for anyone thinking about becoming a NOFA-NH member? Join, of course! There is much to learn in this field, and a great wealth of knowledge among NOFA members who are very often very happy to share their experience and advice.
Does your business have any upcoming activities or events you would like to share with the NOFA-NH community? We will open in November and for the first time require customers to make reservations due to Covid-19. Therefore we are NOT looking for new customers and intend to focus on meeting the needs of our current customers. We hope to use an online reservation system that our neighbors at Good Earth Farm used this spring, and our challenge now is to get the word out. In past years, we would have a line of 60+ cars waiting for us to open on our first day, and we would sell half our annual quota of trees in the first three hours! That just won’t work this year.
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