Regardless of what the groundhog may have said, the last few weeks of regular snowstorms have given a strong impression that winter is still with us. And yet, the territorial song of cardinals and the warming February sun make clear that spring is inevitably on its way.
And with it come some important transitions for Land’s Sake. At the end of February, we bid a fond goodbye to Melanie Hardy, our farm manager for the past 5 years. Melanie has been instrumental it making the farm what it is today, and she has invested a tremendous amount of herself in this place. We all – staff, members, shareholders & customers – owe her great thanks for what she has accomplished. I will miss her hard work and her passionate commitment to good food, beautiful vegetables, and the people of Land’s Sake. She goes with good wishes from all of us, and we hope she will remain connected to Land’s Sake long into the future.
At the same time, we are pleased to welcome back Erik Baum as our new farm manager. Erik was a member of the Land’s Sake farm crew from 2004 to 2008, and has been farming in this region for nearly 15 years. He brings with him a wide range of growing experiences, a passion for producing beautiful vegetables, and a deep knowledge of this particular piece of land. We’re glad to welcome him back! Erik is busily building his team, ordering seeds, and preparing the farm for the day the snow melts.
— Ed Barker
A Farewell From Our Farm Manager, Melanie Hardy
Not being a winter sports person, this endless snow has provided me with plenty of time to hunker down with my knitting and thus plenty of time to reflect on the last five years that I’ve spent here at Land’s Sake. I have so many thoughts and feelings about it all, but there are two things that feel most important to share.
First, there are so many goods and services that Land’s Sake provides for our community: education, vegetables, fun experiences, maple syrup, just to name a few. One thing that customers and supporters do not often realize is that behind the scenes, alongside the crops and the weeds, the people that are doing the hard work to make all of this happen are also growing in leaps and bounds, in all kinds of profound ways. What a gift this is that Land’s Sake provides to individuals as well as to the professional fields of farming and farm education. Here, I, along with countless others, have learned so much about farming, life, and running a business… and have been lucky enough to make lifelong friends along the way. For all of this I am eternally grateful.
I am so proud of the work and learning that my full-time farm teams, in all of their variations, have accomplished here in the past five years. Zannah, Nina, Alicia, Joseph, Hil, Laura, Brett, Olivia and (last, but most of all) Steph: you were all my rocks. And not the annoying kind that we spend a lot of time removing from the fields, but the good metaphorical kind! You were all incredible and devoted workers and teachers, who showed up, got work done, and stood by the farm through thick and thin. All of the thank yous in the world couldn’t express my gratitude to this particular group of folks.
My second thought is this: I want to say to our members and customers, the town of Weston, our executive director, the farm and stand crews, the education crew, the board, all of our dedicated volunteers, and anyone that I have forgotten to include: YOU make Land’s Sake the vibrant, dynamic, exciting and beautiful place it is now and will continue to be for years to come. I am so excited to see how all of your support and hard work for this organization will manifest in the future. What an amazing community this is!
I have one last thought. Erik Baum, our new Farm Manager, is so talented and skilled as a farmer. I couldn’t imagine handing over my responsibilities to anyone else, and I am so excited for him and his crew and the 2014 season! I encourage you to give him all of the inspiring support that you have given me and my crews over the years. And don’t forget: farmers love cookies!