Boston Local Food Festival

Presented by Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts

Home of Wicked Good Food

Hank and Heather Letarte of White Gates Farm were interested in organic, green, and local 30 years ago.wgf-signs-480

They grew vegetables organically before it was popular, wary of the chemicals in pesticides and fertilizers, because of Hank’s background in agronomy, and his years as a golf course superintendent. Hank knew what chemicals did to and for grass, and he knew how dangerous they were, so when the Letartes began raising a family, they definitely didn’t want to grow food using anything that had a warning label on it.

As the family grew, they did several seasons of “pick your own” pumpkins. Tamworth, NH, is a historical site and tourist area so those pumpkins were popular with both visitors and locals. When their son, Tucker, was 16, about 11 years ago, and wanted to raise beef cattle, the Letartes said yes. The herd has grown and now they sell natural pork from heritage breeds, beef from cattle with the lyrical breed name, Blonde d’Aquitaine, and poultry, which include Cornish Cross and Red Broiler breeds. The chickens are bred for taste and for their ability to do well on pasture. All animals are free-range and pasture fed, with some supplemental grains. White Gate Farm is certified organic. All beef cattle, pigs, and broiler chickens graze on organic pastures and vegetables are organically grown in organic soils.

wgf-tent-pond-kids1-300x192Like many small business owners, the Letartes took a while to get to the point where they could do what they love and make a living doing it. They were enterprising, a trait that kept them afloat in tough times. The Letartes weren’t always farmers, though they grew their own food and had a deep interest in all things organic. They operated a landscaping company, near Lake Winnipesaukee and Mount Washington Valley, but they moved on when the area became saturated with competition. When the economy failed a few years ago, they started a foreclosed property cleanout business. It remains a small side operation, along with the larger biodiesel business they co-own with a son. Using waste vegetable oil from local restaurants, their small biodiesel plant makes biodiesel for the farm. The Letartes also own a certified organic composting company.

At the Boston Local Food festival, the Letartes will showcase their natural pork, beef and chicken and look forward to expanding their market. They already sell ½ and whole pigs, and ½ and whole cows, to many clients in the Boston area, and would like to increase those sales. White Gate Farm is also a stunning place for a tented wedding or rehearsal dinner, all meals made with their delicious farm grown products.

But Heather says their favorite product is the education they provide consumers about food and nutrition.

“We host farm dinners, family farm days, and “farmer for a day” events,” she said. “We love to share our knowledge and background with others so they can make educated decisions about food choices. Besides that, we love showing people our property, and letting them enjoy it.”

 This post was brought to you by Valerie Spain of Not a Diabetic. Go check her out!

 

 

Posted by: Valerie Spain on June 23, 2014 @ 11:42 am
Filed under: ALLocal Dinner,Blog,Boston Local Food Festival,Farms