Paul Sachs had been an organic gardener for several years before starting North Country Organics (NCO) and, had his regular supplier of organic fertilizer not gone out of business in 1982, NCO might never have been founded. As email and Internet didn’t exist back then, Paul began writing letters early in 1983 to various manufacturers inquiring where he might find some of their products locally. It was his wife who suggested dabbling in the organic fertilizer business. She had no idea the extent to which he’d get involved (neither did he).
Early on, no one but the few enlightened, back-to-nature counter-culturalists (aka hippies) took organics seriously. None of the information emanating from universities gave credibility to organic agriculture or horticulture. In fact, to many it was a joke. Paul realized he couldn’t earn credibility with a university degree; it was too expensive, too time consuming, and, at the time, the institutions that could offer meaningful information on organic agriculture or horticulture were few and far between. He thought the next best thing was independent study and to prove what he’d learned, he wrote five books about soil and plants. Eventually, people began to notice and realized there was more to organics than meets the eye…and far less to chemicals.
NCO began in a 150 year old barn in Newbury, VT but within five years the heavy inventory grew to beyond the support of the old wooden beams. In 1988, it moved to a new location in Bradford, VT, with a cement floor and room for expansion, which it did over the years. In 2009, NCO’s storage facility is roughly ten times the size it was 20 years ago and there are plans for future development.
North Country Organics took the long, rough route to success but earned a reputation for creating great products and providing the best available information for organic practitioners along the way.