Faces of the Farm
This trio is seen a lot at Clark Farm and they are usually smiling. From left to right is Marjie Findlay, Frank Proctor and Geoff Freeman. Behind Geoff is their trusty companion, Katie the black lab. Frank is a finish carpenter and has a shop at Clark Farm. Among other things he has laid a new floor in the barn, re-shingled the barn siding, added doors to the outbuildings and done some finish cabinetry in the house. Geoff, a recently retired architect of college and university libraries, is now designing mobile chicken coops and loving it. Fortunately, Frank is versatile in his talents and can build the Clark Farm roosting and nesting coops. Marjie has an interest in sustainable agriculture and farm-based education, but when seen on the farm is usually being entertained by all these guys having fun.
Andrew Rodgers is the Farm Manager at Clark Farm. He grew up in Newton, Massachusetts and was an English Major at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he met his wife, Diana. After working in the corporate world doing market research, he learned about Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) and decided to shift his career path to become a farmer. He went back to UMass, this time to get a Master's Degree in Soil Science.
In 2003, Andrew became the farm manager at Green Meadows Farm in Hamilton, MA. There, he created an organic CSA and raised pastured sheep, chickens and pigs. The farm grew and in the winter of 2012, Andrew was offered the opportunity to rejuvenate Clark Farm. He hopes to create a community asset, a place where adults and children can have a connection to where their food comes from.
Diana Rodgers lives at the farm with Andrew and their two kids. She is a nutritionist, helping people to regain their health through farm-fresh real foods and runs a her private practice, Radiance Nutritional Therapy, on the farm. She is the author of two books, Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts on the Go and The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook, which she co-wrote with Andrew. She blogs at SustainableDish.com, where you'll find information about food, nutrition and farming, plus her podcast, and short videos about current issues in agriculture.
Kristen Cummings, CSA and Farm Stand Manager, grew up in northern Kentucky but her heart has always been in the northeast - she trained at the school for Boston Ballet for many years as a teenager, so this has been home for some time. After working for a clean technology startup in San Francisco most recently before coming to Clark Farm, she is now a proud resident of Carlisle. Kristen hopes to have her own farm someday with her husband, Charley, and dog, Comiskey, and has a passion for bringing about change in our food system at the community level.
Will Troy, Field Manager, is a Concord native who grew up off Monument Street and attended Middlesex School. After seven years away, he returned home last spring with a new appreciation for the area, and is very excited to be farming in the Eastern Mass agricultural community. After getting his undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Colorado College, Will discovered farming...and the rest has been history.
Annie Petersen has always had an interest in agriculture. Raised on an old family farm in Concord, she grew up caring for animals and helping to maintain a small roadside farm stand. Annie studied design in college, and now in her second season at Clark Farm, she is enjoying returning to her farming roots. Annie also teaches vinyasa and restorative yoga nearby, hoping someday to combine her love of yoga and farming.
Ruben Quispe, cousin to Elio from Clark Farm's 2013 season, joins us from the highlands of Peru this season. He now lives in urban Cusco, but is originally from a small indigenous mountain village called Choquecancha. Ruben has farmed for his entire life, and in addition to growing primarily corn and potatoes with the help of a draft oxen, he is a trained beekeeper and produces many types of pollen and honeys for market. In 2007 Ruben helped found a nonprofit organization called the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development, which supports local agricultural communities, most of which are located in extremely high altitudes where growing can be tough. He works full time with his organization today when back home, and his projects range from educational workshops and school garden projects, to building new infrastructure like hoophouses, to research on new marketing strategies for beginning farmers. Ruben and his long time girlfriend, Elena, have a two and a half year old son named Aaron.
Pham Ba Trinh joins our field crew from the Daklak-pro province in the Eakar district of Vietnam this season. On their family farm, Trinh’s family has been growing coffee since 1997; they also produce corn, rice, peppercorn, avocados, and litchee. Trinh graduated from Tay Nguyen University in Vietnam’s highlands in 2013 with a degree in Forestry and Environmental Resources Management. With all that he learns at Clark Farm this season, Trinh hopes to start one of the first organic vegetable farms in his region, which he hopes will improve soil quality, increase crop yields, and produce higher quality vegetable products. At home in Vietnam, Trinh can most likely be seen spending time with friends or speeding around on his motorcycle.
Nayara Paganini Toscano was born in Mococa, a small city in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. She is a graduate in Biological Sciences from the Universidade Estadual Paulista, and recently completed her master's degree in Animal Biology at Universidade Estadual de Campinas - Unicamp. Her graduate studies focused on herpetology, a zoology discipline based on the research of amphibians and reptiles, which included working with bioacoustics related to anuran taxonomy, and studying possible new species of endemic frogs in Brazil. Despite having no previous experience with farm work, she came to the United States to learn more about the production of organic foods and experience a culture different to her native Brazil. Nayara also has interests in permaculture and biobuildings, and she hopes that access to land will someday be more equal, and that people will have a deeper connection to the production of their food and be empowered to make better choices about the food that they eat.
Jon Storer and his trusted companion, Porter, have been very busy building farm roads and working on other big projects.