ORIS operates Fresh Start Farms (FSF) in New Hampshire, a collective brand for new American farm enterprises. FSF expands access to healthy, affordable, culturally appropriate food. ORIS develops local markets and trains farmers in business planning, which builds competency and integration into New Hampshire’s vibrant and growing local food system. Markets include Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), farmers markets, and wholesale contracts.
Promoting Land Tenure and Equity for New American Farmers
Since 2008, ORIS has been a regional leader in promoting land access, market development and technical training to support new American farmers. Under the banner of Fresh Start Farms NH, our produce is available at farmers’ markets, through community supported agriculture (CSA) and wholesale. In May 2018, ORIS partnered with the Russell Foundation to raise the funds to purchase the 56 acre Story Hill Farm in Dunbarton. After 5 years of leasing the property, significant soil building, infrastructure development, and organizational growth, this was a natural growth step in the ORIS timeline.
As part of our mission, we are committed to providing reliable markets for our farmers while creating more access points for consumers to have fresh, local, and quality food. We source over 50 types of local vegetables including specialty, ethnic, and heirloom varieties. The produce is all natural and sustainably grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or fungicides. We adhere to state-mandated food safety standards, follow a strict cold chain protocol, pack and label all cases for full product traceability, and carry a $4 million liability policy through Cultivating Community.
All producers in the Fresh Start Farms collective are implementing organic practices with support from ORIS’ incubator farm manager. While we are not certified organic, we do work closely with UNH Cooperative Extension and USDA Natural Resource Conservation Services to implement practices that improve soil health, promote habitat for beneficial insects, and reduce our environmental impact.