The Farmers

“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” ― Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution
Farmer Jesse (Swinger of Birches)

A native Tennessean, Jesse went away to college to learn about cultural anthropology, but happened to discover a love for organic farming along the way. During several glorious summers at Wheatland Vegetable Farms in Northern Virginia, Jesse learned valuable life lessons about lunchtime barn naps, always setting the parking brake on the market truck, and owning a good skinny dipping pond.

A few jobs and years later, a lengthy world tour ensued...

  • Gabon, where Peace Corps trained him in community development, tropical agriculture, and eating caterpillars.
  • Guinea, where he met his future wife, taught agroforestry, and drank tea.
  • Vermont, where graduate school trained him as a planner/field-naturalist, and made his $6 investment in surplus East German wool army pants entirely worthwhile.
  • Arizona, where he tutored kids, confounded French and Spanish, and added water-harvesting/dryland-gardening to his toolbox.
  • Haiti, where he worked hard, wore a suit, and yet still failed to solve 200+ years of land tenure quandaries, housing issues, and environmental bumfuddlement. 
  • Kenya, where he and Athena got to work on the same project for the first time, ate a lot of ugali, and ate a lot of ugali. Also, ugali.

And eventually,

  • Cameroon, where part way into a year long dream job with WWF, he suddenly realized, perhaps belatedly, that he didn't "just" want to work with farmers, but really wanted to be a farmer too.

And so now, 18+ years after he first thought about being a farmer....       he finally is one.

Farmer Athena (Official Farm Goddess)

Raised in Michigan and South Florida, Athena pursued a career in international public health, earned both an MBA and MPH degree, and after working in Africa, China, Mexico, and Dominica, now works full time as the Healthcare Program Strategic Advisor for Nuru International, an innovative NGO working to end extreme poverty in the developing world.

When she is not working or traveling in her Nuru capacity, she seeds, transplants, weeds, harvests, washes, packs, cooks, and eats farm veggies here at home.

As the extrovert in the family, MBA alum, and friendly farm namesake, she is also our marketing secret weapon. When you meet her at market or visit us here on the farm, you'll soon understand why.

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