The snow is long gone, the birds are chirping, and the trees are blooming, which means that spring is finally here. To help celebrate this season of extended daylight, rising temperatures, and delicious local produce, meat and flowers, we’re starting a series of “Meet Your Local Farm” profiles to introduce you to some of the farms around New Hampshire and the men and women behind them.
For our latest profile, meet Greg Berger. Greg is the owner of Spring Ledge Farm in New London. Greg and the farm’s employees are committed to growing and selling high-quality ornamental plants, vegetables, flowers and fruits in a manner that respects the long-term health and well-being of the environment, the land and the community. Read on to learn all about the farm and their locally produced meats, dairy, baked goods, honey, maple and more.
Tell us about the history of your farm.
Greg: “The was farm started in 1976 by John and Sue Clough on their family land in New London. They grew vegetables and a few flowers, slowly building the farm up little by little. The demand continued to grow and so did the farm. Many local folks, and especially high school and college kids, found their first jobs at Spring Ledge in the summer months.
The Cloughs placed a conservation easement on the property in 1991 to ensure that the land would always be open for agriculture. This is a unique property right in the middle of New London and provides open spaces and fertile fields.
I purchased Spring Ledge in 2005 after working alongside the Cloughs for 20 years. Located in the heart of New London, we continue the tradition of providing our community with the best ornamental plants, fresh vegetables and fruits, cut flowers, sweet corn and our own strawberries. We also offer high-quality hard goods, products from local farmers and makers, fresh local dairy and eggs, as well as potting soil, compost, and fertilizers to make sure your plants have a great start.
Our farm is also a New Hampshire ‘Farm of Distinction.’ Given by the New Hampshire Depmartment of Agriculture, the award recognizes farms that do an outstanding job of appealing to the non-farm public. Spring Ledge also received the 2012 Cooperator of the Year award from the Merrimack County Conservation District. Our farm’s growth and success over the years continues to be a team effort and is highly dependent on the help of all the crews here on the farm. We would like to thank our employees and our community, including local families and businesses who choose our farm to supply them with fresh plants and produce. We truly could not do it without you.”
What makes your farm special or different?
Greg: “We provide fresh plants and produce to our community while maintaining open spaces, local employment and a great farmstand experience. We are located right in the middle of town, which is unique given the development pressure in our area. Our crews are passionate about plants and growing, and they also love to talk gardening and farming. And of course our awesome plants and produce!”
What’s the story behind the name of your farm?
Greg: “I could tell you the story, but Kristy Heath tells it best. You can check it out over on our website.”
What are you best known for?
Greg: “We are known for The Farmstand, PYO strawberries, PYO cut flowers, high quality plants for gardens, our sweet corn, our tomatoes, fall strawberries and Christmas wreaths.”
Tell us about the most memorable day you’ve had working on the farm.
Greg: “I’ve been working here for 35 years, so there are too many to choose just one! Most recently, we had an enormous turnout for Memorial Day weekend in 2020. With the renewed interest in gardening and local foods, we experienced a huge amount of traffic. It was great seeing all the excited gardeners.”
Tell us about what you have been up to this season. Do you have any new milestones, products, events, or anything exciting planned?
Greg: “We have a new planter for field crops, which to us farmers is really big news. It is a vacuum seeder and will be much more precise in sowing sweet corn, beans, carrots, peas and all sorts of other vegetable crops. As per usual, we have dozens of new varieties of plants and flowers for 2021. Just like the home gardener, we peruse the seed catalogs every fall and winter and then try and find more space to grow them come spring! We’re also working with the organization Feed Kearsarge again this year to provide ‘Tray it Forward’ garden seedlings to folks who are food insecure and also to health care professionals. (More on this program on our website.)”
What keeps you passionate about doing what you do?
Greg: “I am a plant geek and a lifelong gardener, so the growing is what keeps me so interested in my job. All of us who work at the farm are surrounded by plants and farm products. We are able to work outside and in greenhouses and in a cozy farmstand. The variety of jobs is never-ending, but that means we are never bored!”
What can people expect to find at your farmstand or farm store this year?
Greg: “We grow our own plants, flowers and produce, and we source fresh local goods including breads, dairy and meats from other farms.”
How can people best support you right now?
Greg: “We are now open for the season and looking forward to seeing customers, both new and old. We offer CSA options for flowers and vegetables. We sell gift cards so you can share the bounty of Spring Ledge with friends and family. Both of these items may be purchased through our website. We’re on Facebook and on Instagram as well.”
The post Meet Your Local Farm: Spring Ledge Farm’s Greg Berger appeared first on New Hampshire Magazine.