We believed in organic before organic was cool.
And it all begins with the soil.
Following New England tradition, cows, pigs and chickens at the Vegetable Ranch share the farm with fields that grow more than 40 different crops. Animals forage in the fields, eat a share of our crops, contribute natural fertility and provide us with meat and eggs. Soil tests tell us when to add natural minerals, rock powders, and other natural elements to improve the life in our fields. We treat our soils to cover crops and compost when we can. We nurture the soils and never add chemicals.
Industrial agriculture has created a system of massive factory farms, one-crop monocultures, chemical dependency, little taste, less nutrition, and depleted soils. Chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fumigants used in conventional agriculture kill the life in the soil that healthy plants require.
Healthy soil grows healthy plants that feed healthy people. Healthy soil needs to be organic. At the Vegetable Ranch, we grow our crops the way nature intended, and our results prove the wisdom of organic methods.
Vegetable Ranch is proud to provide tasty, nutritious organic produce to an expanding list of customers who demand the very best organic food.
What does it mean to be “Certified Organic,” and why does it matter?
Since 2002, the term “organic” has been defined and regulated under federal law. In New Hampshire, the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food is authorized by the US Department of Agriculture to certify NH farms.
Interestingly, the federal law only defines what organic agriculture is NOT. The regulations don’t tell organic farms what to do or how to do it. Instead, the regulations provide very specific details in regards to what organic farms cannot do. For consumers, this approach makes a certain amount of sense. Consumers of organic produce know they are not getting genetically modified crops (no GMOs, for example), they are not getting chemically treated seeds, crops doused with chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or persistent toxic pesticides that contaminate air, soil, water and people. Organic consumers know their food has not been irradiated, sprayed with raw manure, or contaminated during shipment by proximity to conventional produce.
Certified farms like Vegetable Ranch consider the organic regulations as critically important. We adhere to them precisely, file reports defining our farm plans for the coming year, and welcome annual organic inspections. But the federal law does not cover everything. Like many local organic farms, Vegetable Ranch goes beyond the federal requirements to ensure not only organic integrity, but also sustainability, humane treatment of domestic animals, responsibility to our community, fairness to our customers and employees, and respect for the natural environment.
Larry Pletcher has had a long-standing belief that food is more enjoyable and full of taste with no chemicals added. In the 80’s when he became certified organic this was a moral and ethical drive to know what exactly was in his food and to create a product that was full of taste that naturally existed within each product. As his business became larger, he was able to run the farm as a full time job rather than a hobby. His stand on the moral and ethics of food has now become a family business and we are up against even larger obstacles to an organic goal. Larry has repeatedly, though quietly, pushed against GMO’s. We all work towards making it more feasible for customers to buy locally with ease.
To this end the Vegetable Ranch LLC has a number of CSA’s (community supported agriculture.) as well as being a long-standing member of the Concord Farmers Market. Produce is also sold to various local restaurants and local businesses, including but not limited A Market in Manchester NH as well as the Concord COOP in Concord NH. Customers can always stop by the farm anytime. We are happy to sell whatever produce we have available at the time as well as have a transparent production to our customers. Any one is welcome to tour the farm, weather and time permitting, to see for themselves exactly what is going into their food. Customers are encouraged to call or email in advance if they have large orders or specific needs.
Larry was most recently mentioned in The Hippo Press as “favorite farmer… best of Concord”. Larry was also featured in the alumna in the Princeton Alumni magazine. Read the article here!
Vegetable Ranch at American Stone Craft
Vegetable Ranch has recently partnered with American Stone Craft out of Lowell, Massachusetts to bring beautiful food slabs to your home. American Stone Craft creates unique and colorful food slabs and coasters of various sizes out of stones that come right from our farm. With each purchase, you’ll be supporting Vegetable Ranch and have custom farm-to-table serving wares for years to come.