How did you get into farming?
A few years ago, I started reading books and watching videos about organic farming. Once the pandemic started to slow down, I decided it was time to try it out. Starting in November 2021, I did a three month WWOOF visit to Moon in the Pond Farm in Sheffield, MA. WWOOF stands for “World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms”, and it’s a program that connects organic farmers and people who want to learn about farming. I enjoyed the experience, so when I returned home I looked for a full time farming position, which ended up being this apprenticeship at Powisset.
Prior to joining the Trustees, what were you doing?
I was working at a company that makes computational software for engineers and scientists.
When it comes to farming, what are you most passionate about or interested in?
I am most passionate about giving people a sense of connection to their food.
In what ways are you doing that kind of work that you are most passionate about at Powisset farm?
Once a week, I work in the CSA stand, and I get to answer questions and talk about the produce with the members in a way that is only possible because I am so closely involved in growing the food.
Do you have a specific area of expertise?
I’m super new to farming, so I don’t! I’d like to learn more about fertilization, cultivation, and irrigation though. Based on what I’ve learned this season, these are very important for the quantity and quality of a crop yield, but also very challenging.
How would you describe the season at Powisset thus far?
For me, this season has been all about learning and new experiences. Looking back, I’m amazed by all of the things that I learned and did for the first time in just these few months.
What’s a typical day like, if there is a typical day?
Typically, we’ll harvest, wash, and pack vegetables for the CSAs and stores in the morning. Then, after lunch, we’ll do whatever else needs to get done, which could be seeding, transplanting, weeding, fertilizing, irrigating, etc.
What’s been the biggest challenge and how has the farm crew overcome that challenge?
I want to mention two challenges. First, the drought this season. This summer was very hot with little rain, which means crops were at risk of drying up. But, our farm manager Tim made sure we were irrigating as much as possible. We were constantly moving irrigation lines and running water for as long as we could. It definitely paid off, and there are many vegetables in the CSA this season that would not have made it without Tim’s irrigation initiative.
The second challenge was the departure of Jess, our assistant grower. Jess held a lot of responsibilities and is very knowledgeable, and she was also an awesome mentor to me and the rest of the crew. Before she left, we made sure to ask her lots of questions and delegate her responsibilities, which made for a smooth transition. We still miss her though!