Did you come from a farming/gardening family? Can you share a story about that?
I came to gardening as an adult, but my great-grandmother was an avid gardener and most of my distant relatives for generations back were all farmers. I like to think that my affinity for the work is a link with my ancestry, but I think that’s also something almost anyone can say- at one point, most people were farmers. My parents have been cultivating an obsession with their garden for the past few years and it’s a cool interest to share with them.
When did you first know you wanted to be a small farmer?
When my garden was growing to the point that it was almost a farm- except I lacked the skills!
What was your first farm-related job?
In a way, my first job out of college working for a flower shop was my first farm-related job. We sold sunflowers from a local farm that was just starting out, and it ended up being the first farm I would work for some 5 years later.
What do you like most about farming?
That’s a tough question! I love the magical process of propagating plants. To watch seeds spring up, grow, and provide food and beauty never gets old. I also enjoy the physicality of the work and working closely with the earth in its seasons. Also, the gratification of providing folks with food and flowers to nourish their bodies and minds feels particularly special.
What do you like least about farming?
Sometimes the work is grueling and it’s hard to not fantasize about a life on the beach doing nothing after a few weeks of summer.
What’s your favorite crop to grow?
It’s so hard to decide! In this moment I think winter squash (they’re just so cute), but sometimes it’s potatoes (really fun to dig up), and other times it’s celeriac or salad turnips, but that’s mostly because it’s so hard to find either of those in the stores.
Share what your average day is like on the farm!
I finish my breakfast when I’m pulling up to work, say hi to the dogs, spend a minute working out a game plan with the other growers and we set up tasks that will take us to lunch time. I’m probably still eating breakfast, which turns to snacking on random leaves, and then after lunch I hope that I have something active to do so I don’t feel sleepy. In the hot summer sun I’ll probably laugh at how gross I feel and maybe take a break to stand by a fan. By the end of the day, I’ll feel so ready to go home, but as soon as we decide to call it a day I’ll feel like staying to do something.
What has made you feel the proudest to be a farmer?
Sharing enormous amounts of high-quality produce and flowers with my friends and family.