Norah Lake and Chris Polashenski started Sweetland Farm in 2012 because they were inspired to offer Upper Valley residents an opportunity to engage with a local farm in a convenient, educational, and meaningful way. Both Norah and Chris grew up with a strong land ethic instilled in them, and each spent countless hours working in their family’s gardens and pastures.
While they were students at Dartmouth College, each of them explored the complex world of sustainability, Norah through the Environmental Studies Department and Chris through a focus on environmental engineering. They were each intimately involved in student-led projects at the college’s organic farm, and between them helped to start the first Dartmouth Farm CSA, designed and built a high-efficiency solar greenhouse, researched the possibilities of partnering the dining halls with local food producers, and guided many fellow students through their first introduction to an agrarian landscape.
After graduating in 2006/7 Norah became a partner at Sunrise Farm in Hartford, VT where she worked for 5 years. Chris pursued a PhD in engineering and took a job researching arctic climate change at Hanover’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory. In 2012, after living in the Upper Valley for 10 years, they were honored to purchase the newly conserved Sweetland Farm from the Vermont Land Trust and to begin growing great food for their community.