We are the new generation
Generation Farm is a small Certified Organic vegetable farm located on a forest hilltop in Concord NH. Our farm was started in 2012 by young people looking to provide their community with fresh food farmed responsibly. Sustainability and responsible stewardship of the land is our goal. We produce nearly all of our electricity through solar power and heat our barn with a wood pellet burner. Over 60 acres of surrounding forest & wetland are currently being put into conservation.
As an organic farm we never use any type of herbicides or pesticides – even those that are allowed by organic standards do not make the cut here. We fertilize & mineralize our soils with only naturally derived products and plenty of rich organic compost.
Everything is lovingly grown, harvested and packed by a husband and wife team who run the farm.
We are grateful to be a part of the next generation in establishing more small sustainable farms for the health and longevity of our society and the environment.
Meet the Farmers
James & Marley
James is originally from Sleepy Hollow, NY and Marley is a NH native. We have degrees in History and Psychology respectively, but found our calling getting our hands dirty in the field. James was inspired by agriculture in Kyrgyzstan where he lived during his time in the Peace Corps. He saw small farms function as a pillar and necessity of the community. 'Farmers markets' were the prevalent everyday markets and most people bought food from local sources. James had his first farming experience interning at the Stone Barns and Quail Hill in NY before going on to be a field manager at Red Fire Farm in MA.
When James moved to NH to start his own farm he met Marley while she was working at the local food coop in town.
Although neither of us grew up in farming families we both discovered our love of nature & environmentalism easily translated into a passion for agriculture. We live and work on the farm together, tackling every chore from bookkeeping and hauling compost to pulling weeds.
Oliver & Rue
Oliver is our farm cat - and a beloved member of our family. His duties include patrolling the property, keeping the vole population in check and curling up in our laps at the end of a long day. Admittedly he isn't as rugged as one might expect of a farm cat (he won't go out in the cold, snow, or rain) but we love him all the same. He brings joy to our daily chores and reminds us to appreciate the little things in life (like rolling blissfully around the warm ground on a sunny morning) and we cant imagine life without him.
Rue (Harvest Moon of Stillwater) is our new farm puppy, and we are so happy to have her! Rue is an English Shepherd, a breed with deep roots in American agriculture as a versatile farm dog. While the English Shepherd was a very common dog on farming homesteads a century ago their presence has waned along with the small farmer. We are hoping to see this amazing breed make a comeback along with small scale agriculture - you can read more about English Shepherds here. Her duties on the farm will include vermin hunting, keeping the wild turkey mobs out of the field, and being a watchful helper during our daily work.
Pupdate: Rue is now 6 months old and settled in nicely. She took to the snow and ice with gusto! Like her people, she is most in her element in the woods - we go for forest hikes almost daily. Rue is growing into a gorgeous, intensely smart and loyal dog.
Operated by only two people. All of the work done to bring you fresh produce from soil prep, seeding, weeding, to harvesting and packing is performed by James & Marley. Our work is our life and we love it. We put great care into every step of the growing process & feel personal responsibility for the quality of everything we produce. It is often overwhelming, joyful, exhausting and ultimately the most fulfilling job either of us has ever known.
We want to challenge the notion that ‘unlimited growth’ is the only way to do business – we simply want to make an honest living and preserve the integrity of our soil. Staying small allows us to remain focused on what is really important – being responsible members of our community and our environment. We believe in growing better not bigger.
Truly fresh food has not traveled more than a few miles from where it was picked. This way it retains all of its complex nutrients and best flavor. We are told again and again by our customers how fresh and long lasting our salad greens are - people often rediscover a box in the back of their fridge only to find it is still crisp and beautiful! This is only possible because our greens have such a short journey from field to shelf.
Local small farms are an essential piece of the puzzle to attaining sustainability and food security in our country. We hope someday everyone will choose local produce first, strive to eat seasonally and help the small farm community flourish.
We have a large solar array that provides power for 100% of the electrical needs on the farm – and then some. Any extra power produced is fed right back into the grid. Like our plants, we draw our energy from the sun.
We heat our barn (which is also our living space) using a super efficient wood pellet burner.
Our fresh greens are packaged in clamshells made of 100% post consumer recycled plastic. We had used plant based plastic for several years but found that the lack of accessible municipal composting facilities and recycling restrictions in many local towns was making it difficult for folks to dispose of our packaging in the way that was intended. The quality of the plant based packaging was also variable and we spent many packing sessions worrying over it. We are happy to support plastic recycling efforts and hope that our customers will too. Please always recycle when possible!
Most all of the tasks on our farm are performed by hand. We only use one mid-size tractor to prep beds & move heavy loads of compost around. The rest is done with good old-fashioned hard labor. We practice low-till farming, which greatly reduces our fuel needs. Our farm is small enough to make this approach viable and we think less-mechanized means better quality in the end.
We are certified organic by the USDA via the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food. Organic farms do not use the synthetic herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers typically used by conventional farms. Crop rotation, the use of beneficial insect predators and natural fertilizers/compost are the cornerstones of Organic agriculture.
By contrast, Conventional agriculture may use any synthetic fertilizers, highly toxic herbicides, pesticides, and grow vast monocultures year after year that strip the land of its fertility. The conventional approach is damaging to our environment, and ruining the ability of farmland to remain productive long-term without tremendous inputs. Our most-grown conventional crops, such as corn & soy, are also heavily subsidized – masking the true cost of their production. Cheap food still comes with a hidden price.
For the sustained health & productivity of our farmland, organic is the way to go. But not all organic produce is created equal. Certified Organic farms are allowed to use pesticides that are authorized by the USDA. While we understand & respect that many organic farms feel they need to use these less-toxic alternatives to control pests, we choose a different approach. Our farm chooses to forego any and all pesticides. We believe in providing you with the cleanest and most wholesome food possible. This does make our job a little harder – but we think it’s worth it in the end.
Pollinators also appreciate having an organic landscape to forage. We grow clover instead of grass in all of our 'lawn' spaces, allow the wildflowers to take over & are always expanding our pollinator habitat on the farm. We love bees!
The debate over GM food (genetically modified) can get heated. Whether food produced by GM seed is safe to eat is beside the point for us. We do not appreciate corporate entities trying to control the fate of agriculture by patenting seed to increase farmer dependency on a company, rather than maintain autonomy through seed saving.
GM crops, by their very nature, also encourage industrial monoculture that harms the diversity and sustainability of our food system. Monoculture is one of the main reasons why we battle such severe disease & pest issues in the first place – so looking for a ‘quick fix’ through genetic modification will only delay the problem. Diversity is the only lasting solution – it also happens to be the way nature protects itself – so let’s work with it instead of against it.
We never use GMO seed on our farm. We source our seed from companies that routinely test for any cross-pollination of GM crops that can contaminate organic seed crops.
Organic farming can feed the world. We don’t have to compromise.
For more information check out the research done by the Rodale Institute