New Earth Organic Farm is one of the businesses of Cite Ecologique of New Hampshire
We manage the land of our ecovillage, which represents:
- 275 acres of forest land ( a mixture of soft wood and hard wood)
- 10 acres of maple sugar bush
- 25 acres of hay
- 2 acres of gardens including 3 high tunnels
The heart of New Earth Organic Farm has 4 names: Luc, Venessa, Pierre and Micheline.
With our gathered interest, knowledge and sweat, we have created a garden that had been present in our dreams for a long time. When harder chores and harvest come, we often receive the help of the other members of our ecovillage.
When we acquired the land in 2003, it had been free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers for more than 10 years. It had a south facing slope, bringing spring early. We loved it at first sight!
2004: The land had been severely cut of its trees and we felt an urge to plant trees. We planted a double row of trees that bordered the main road of our property. That same year we started inquiring about tree seedlings, wood cuttings and other ways to reproduce some of the hard wood species that can grow in our climate.
2005: A first start at gardening: we set up a 20’ x 25’ garden behind the main house. To enrich the soil, we took some humus in the woods and added it to our soil. It ended up being too acidic and our first harvest was disappointing! We were given some oak acorns that we sowed, hoping that the next season would be the beginning of our tree farm.
2006: Acorns germinated, elm seeds and a few other species were planted and the garden surface magically doubled! We added some soil amendments and compost to the soil. The reward came fast as we enjoyed our first home grown salad!
2007: The garden grew so well that the need to expand became evident! We chose to move it to a larger patch. Pierre started to sow green manure in preparation for next year’s expansion. We bought apple trees that were planted in the middle of the new garden.
2008: The year “New Earth Organic Farm” was officially born! That same year, we realized that a high tunnel would allow us to extend the growing season by several months. By the end of June, the tunnel was up, and the old garden bacame an herb garden.
2009: We planted our first 50 blueberry bushes, increased the number of raised bed to 29 (4’ x 60’ feet long) and encountered our first loss when Late Blight killed our potatoes and tomato plants within a week!
2010: With the increase in sales generated through the “North Country co-op project”, we once more expanded our gardens to 38 beds, each now reaching 100 feet long. Being aware of the poor living conditions of commercial laying hens, we decided to build a chicken coop and have our own supply of healthy hens & eggs. NRCS (National Resources Conservation Services) subsidized the cost of building a second high tunnel. On Sept.18th, it was ready. We immediately started planting cold crops for early spring harvest. This same winter, we started tapping our maple trees and made our first gallon of maple syrup!
2011: 2011 is the year we felt the need for a nursery to contain our exploding number of seedlings. And so started the building of the third tunnel! Alongside, our small orchard now contained 21 apple trees. Also, to the joy of the children, we were able to start doing maple syrup since our maple trees finally reached 10 inches in diameter and had become big enough to tap. The sugar shack was born! Thanks to NRCS, a road was built to access the sugar shack and keep on logging and caring for our forest.
2012: An irrigation system was installed in the garden. We built a small barn for the 2 horses we bought for the kids. After so many years of organic farming, “New Earth Organic farm” officially got its Organic Certification by USDA! Luc sowed the first shiitake mushrooms on maple logs taken from the sugar bush. The Forestry Management branch saw its first transplantation of our 2006 own nursery-grown trees: white oaks, red oaks, elms, and Ohio buckeyes now graced our Land.
2013: We are in our third year of maple syrup production. With 300 taps only, we produced 50 gallons of maple syrup so far! One of our summer project is to re-introduce wild leek (an endangered specie)
in the sugar bush.