Tracie’s Community Farm, LLC
In 1999, Tracie Loock started growing vegetables in Sullivan on her father’s land while studying Environmental Horticulture at UNH to get hands on experience. Over nine years she grew experience, customers, knowledge, equipment, credit, and infrastructure. In November of 2007 she found a land opportunity in Fitzwilliam. Fitzwilliam Green was looking for a farmer to buy 33 acres of land they wanted to keep in farming by putting a Conservation Easement on it since the land was classified as Becket Fine Sandy Loam, which is prime agricultural soil, rare in NH and especially not being on the river valley. She worked with Fitzwilliam Green and the Monadnock Conservancy to put together an easement that would work for everyone.
With the help of family and friends all of the farms supplies, greenhouses, and perennials where moved to Fitzwilliam within a week of signing a purchase and sale agreement. The land was prepared for the following season, the greenhouses were erected and we began to harvest pines on the property where the barn was to be built. The pines were milled onsite and the barn was built throughout the winter and spring in preparation for our 210 member CSA starting in mid June. The incredible amount of work it took to move the farm to a new location was worth it. 2008 was a great season and the new location proved to have a supportive community.
Since then we’ve continued to feed more families, through more seasons vegetables, herbs, and fruits grown with love and without the use of pesticides or chemicals. We use row covers to prevent pests and increase warmth, crop rotations to disturb pest and disease cycles as well as balance nutrient uses, cover crops to prevent soil erosion, capture nutrients, and harvest nutrients and organic matter, and compost and other organic fertilizers to feed our soil not only nutrients but life. The diversity of plants we grow helps us prevent pest populations from building up as well as not depend on just a few crops and feel the need to spray when problems do arise.
We’ve built our crew to 6 full time team members, and aim to make the positions sustainable for them. For the farm to be sustainable into the future, it needs to be sustainable for everyone who works here as well. We also have about 12 work shares who work with us through the season, as well as 10 delivery drivers who deliver shares to homes in exchange for their share. There are many involved who make the farm what it is today.
We have expanded the shares to 3 seasons; spring, summer, and fall so you can eat locally all season long! If you sign up for our farm newsletter, you’ll be updated of when shares are available in the subject line. Spring shares typically sell out within a week or two of putting it in the newsletter.
Spring Shares: We usually take memberships in late January for the 50 Spring shares we have available. We start in Mid March and continue through end of May/first week in June, for 10-12 weeks on Thursdays. Pick up is 3:30 p.m.-9 p.m.
Summer Shares: We usually take memberships starting in December of the previous season. In 2012 we fed 320 members, and 350 members in 2013 due to our expanding land cultivation in 2012. In 2014 summer shares will start in mid June and continue through the end of September. The price of summer shares includes delivery to your door. You receive a $60.00 discount if you pick up at the farm. You choose Monday, Wednesday or Friday pickup.
Fall Shares: We usually take memberships starting in August. The number of shares we take on depends on how the season is going. From 80-140 shares available. Pickups start in October and continue for through first week in December on Thursdays 2:30-8 p.m, pickup on Tuesday instead of Thursday on Thanksgiving week. The past few years we’ve had Swanzey/Keene and Harrisville pick up options as well as pick up at the farm.