Next Generation

I am in Washington, D.C. this week at the National Young Farmers Coalition leadership conference with folks from around the country! We have two days of workshop before a lobby day at the capitol discussing the urgent need for a Farm Bill 2018. It’s amazing to be around so many other food-producing, culture-changing, radical, fun young farmers!!
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You as Second Wind members are an important part of supporting new and growing generations of farmers in the Hudson Valley. This incubator with Four Winds is a special and important way to grow more farmers in food-producing and business-running skills!
Here are Second Wind’s next farmers to introduce themselves:

Hi! We’re Sam, Anthony, and Leslie (SAL). We all met last year in Cold Spring. Sam led Anthony and I (Leslie) in our first season at Glynwood as Vegetable Apprentices. Anthony and I became partners and started to think about our future farming plans together. It was hard to imagine farming for or with any other crew. So, after this amazing season working together we three have decided to intertwine our future farming journeys as your new farmers at Second Wind and we are so excited!

Leslie:
Greetings friends! My name is Leslie and I’m a full-blooded mid-westerner. I come from a small town of 4,000 people in central Illinois, the Heartland, where big corn is king. Although I grew up with a corn field as my backyard – my passion for farming didn’t kick in for many years. After graduating from Illinois State University in 2012, I spent 4 years working at various environmental non-profits. It was Scenic Hudson that brought me to the Hudson Valley where I spent 2 years there working in Development. My legs started to get restless and I desperately yearned to spend more hours of the day outdoors. I frequently thought about a summer I spent while in-between jobs working at a small farm in Connecticut…and how happy I was there. I decided in 2016 to leave desk life to embark on my journey as a farmer. I first took 6 months to roam around South America, where I worked on 2 different organic farms before settling back in the Hudson Valley at my first farm in Red Hook: a 6 acre, woman powered, diversified vegetable machine. It was an intense first full season but I stuck with it and took myself to Glynwood the following year to focus on learning and digesting the many skills needed to be a successful farmer. Over the past year I feel I’ve really grown into my boots and developed my personal vision as a woman farmer. My farming values are rooted in the human relationship with plants and the land. I am inspired by the evolution of tradition and community through food and the way in which the land can empower and heal those who care for it. Long-term, I aspire to own a farm that ties my passion for working the land with my passion for social justice in the form of an on-farm mentorship project for recently incarcerated women. I see this time at Second Wind as an important part of that path. With a full season together already I feel so excited and fully confident in our little crew-family to bring you all a bountiful season of fresh grown goodness. I can’t wait to meet each of you – and hope that you all come back to experience this very special journey with us next season!

Anthony:
Hey everyone! This will be my fourth year farming and my fifth farm that I’ve worked at. I didn’t always want to be a farmer. In college I studied physics and math. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after college, but the most interesting possibilities seemed to require a graduate degree in physics. So I applied for graduate school, got in, and worked toward a PhD in physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After my first year, I was looking for a summer job to pay my rent. My mom was working on a farm near our house on Cape Cod and she suggested I apply to work as a farm hand. After a year of being mostly indoors studying, working outside during the summer sounded really nice. That was the beginning of my interest in farming. I worked for 3 or so months until school started up in the fall and I couldn’t stop thinking about farming. I realized how much I appreciate physical labor and working outside. I went back to school for another semester before deciding that I wanted to quit graduate school. My research professor and I came to an agreement that if I worked through the next summer, I could earn my masters degree. I left graduate school in August 2016 with a MS in physics, but have been farming ever since. My goal is to eventually own a farm and grow diversified veggies. I’m hopeful for a good season and excited to meet you all!

Sam:
Hi all-I met a few of you at this year’s final pickups, but I’m looking forward to getting to know you all next year! I was born in New Orleans, LA but my parents moved us up to NYC just a year after, so my formative years were spent taking the subway back and forth between schools in Manhattan and my parents’ home in the Bronx. I went to college in the mountains of northwest MA where I graduated with a degree in English, but with more of an interest in applying myself in whatever way I could to the problem of climate change. This led me to work at a big environmental nonprofit in DC, but while there I felt almost as disconnected from real work and change as I did in college.
Through reading the works of people like Wendell Berry and Michael Pollan I became more and more certain that I should get to the root of things – land stewardship, education about and production of healthy real food, involvement in small economies – which pointed me towards working on small farms. And so I found myself commuting against the flow of traffic an hour outside of the nation’s capital to a startup vegetable farm in Maryland where I cut my teeth on the work, trials, and rewards of organic vegetable growing. The following year I moved back up to NY to be closer to my family, and was lucky enough to land an apprenticeship at Glynwood Farm in Cold Spring, where I am now finishing up my second year, this year as a crew leader.
Some things I’ve come to believe about farming are that it begins and ends with the health of the soil, and that a surprising amount of food can be produced on not very much land when managed with economy and wisdom. So stepping into the management of Second Wind made a lot of sense to me. I’m thrilled to continue working with my friends Leslie and Anthony, and to learn from the folks at Four Winds.Can’t wait to get into the soil next spring and start another year of CSA for you all. In the meantime, I hope you have a warm and cozy winter!

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Here’s to more farmers and more food,
Lyds

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1 Comment

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One response to “Next Generation

  1. Judy Diamond

    Welcome team SAL! You have such interesting backgrounds. Thank you for the thoughtful introductions!

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