1. How long have you been in farming?
This is my first farming experience. While a true novice, I’ve loved caring for animals, and being active in the outdoors, for as long as a I can remember.
2. What made you want to go into farming?
My journey to farming has been a bit winding, so my answer to this will mirror (so feel free to skip ahead to a less rambling response).
My professional background, since graduating from PSU in 2007, has been in education and photography. Beginning in 2010, spurred by an always present longing to experience new things, I spent about 15 months in Korea and India, teaching and exploring. In 2014, I took 6 months away from my somewhat conventional life in Florida to travel throughout the natural beauty of the US. Living in a tiny tent, within the (vastly underrated) network of national forests winding across the country, exploring state and national parks along the way, I renewed my love of the land, and realized more fully the healing effects of time spent outdoors and in nature.
And this trip ended with the beginning of another great love. After traveling for months across the west, my last was spent hiking the Colorado trail, ~500 miles across CO. Long distance backpacking shattered my preexisting concept of accomplishment. Although happening just once a year since (the CDT across CO in 2015, the PCT across Oregon in 2016, and the CDT across Wyoming in 2017), it has driven home the importance of finding a more permanent source of that perfect marriage of intense physical and mental challenge.
Always running parallel, to my streams of more inward actualization, is a constant pull to build relationships with, teach, and advocate for children. Being a positive resource in a community, and a meaningful influence in a child or family’s life, has always been another intrinsic motivator for me. Throughout my years of teaching, I have had experiences with at-risk youth and families, those without access to or knowledge of food nutrition and the basics of health and wellness, which most of us take for granted. Nutrition, health, and wellness have been growing priorities in my own life, and a focus that I want to share with others, especially in the integrated context of land and nature. Being food insecure goes hand in hand with a deep disconnect from food sources. And although it is easy to find this fracture in food deserts, it is also a broader, all-encompassing issue. Children across the socioeconomic spectrum have a disconnect from their food, and a growing detachment from nature. Helping kids and families bridge that gap, and form meaningful context about their food, health, and environment, is something I’d like to work toward throughout my life.
Farming and food donation is a culmination of both my personal and philanthropic interests, and a lifestyle that I now know I will continue to study and practice. I’d love to be able to homestead as a platform for my own family and friends, and possibly, as small scale educational resource within my community.
So here I am at CFF, being challenged both physically and mentally, an adventure each day amongst stewards of the land, and advocates of those in need. You can imagine my happiness.
3. What is something you have experienced here that you never expected?
Not quite unexpected, but my first afternoon and evening of kidding was an awe-inspiring experience. The first 6 kids all coming within an hour or so of each other. The does, kids, (& Craig!) were all amazing to watch in their element.
4. What is your favorite season and why?
Since the fall of 2011, I’ve lived at the beach in St. Augustine, FL and then up at about 9,000ft in the Rockies outside of Winter Park, CO; approximately 9 months of “summer,” followed by 9 months of “winter,” respectively. I am so eager to experience the four seasons again, especially spring and fall. Not only because they’ve been missing from my life for quite a while now, but because of the beautiful transitions that occur in nature during these times.
5. What is your typical day for you at CFF?
After morning meeting, and a more livestock specific rundown with Craig, we’ll begin the basic routine of morning chores, egg washing, and afternoon chores. Our additional time in the mornings and afternoons is allocated to whatever projects are at the top of the priority list for that particular day. But always a constant cycling of making sure the animals have the water, food, and shelter they need to be happy, healthy, and safe.
6. How do you unwind after a long day at the farm?
I’m a pretty true introvert, so I usually like to recharge with some alone time; a podcast, some reading, or a run. Then the evening usually moves toward some cooking, a glass of wine, and a good chat with one of my housemates.
7. What is something you can’t wait to make using ingredients from our farm?
I love breakfast, so I’m going to go with a nice, fresh veggie omelet with sweet potato hash browns, and a side of mixed greens.
8. What’s a quote you live by?
“It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger for them.” George Eliot
9. What advice would you give to someone thinking about going into farming?
I’m far from being able to advise others on the subject. But, I will say, If you are lucky enough to find yourself in an extraordinary apprenticeship such as this one, soak up all that you can and navigate the experience with great appreciation.
10. If you had to pick, whats your favorite piece of equipment we have?
I’ll be spinning this slightly, but I have to say this amazing staff (both mentors and apprentices) as a whole; what an amazing pool of resources and support!
As our mission states, one of our main goals is to feed people in need and to be able to provide the most nutritious food possible. We also strive to provide high quality food not always available through donation, especially protein. This week, we were able to do just that! In late February, we harvested 10 cattle or approximately 5,000 pounds of grassfed beef. Our partner soup kitchens, Broad Street Ministry and Face to Face, were thrilled to each receive an entire beef. We can’t wait to find out how they use it! Chef Stephen and Chef Altenor are both talented and creative chefs, and we are sure they will be making several delicious meals for their clients.
|Stewing Hens||10 pounds|
|Heritage Turkeys||194 pounds|
|Chuck Beef||88 pounds|
|Sirloin Tip Beef||22 pounds|
|Beef Tenderloin||17 pounds|
|Short Ribs||36 pounds|
|Beef Brisket||30 pounds|
|Beef Bones||80 pounds|
|Rib Meat||30 pounds|
|Beef Strips||30 pounds|
|Sirloin Boneless Beef||40 pounds|
|Bottom Round/Eye Round Beef||37 pounds|
|Top Round Beef||36 pounds|
|Ground Beef||300 pounds|
|Sirloin Bone-In Beef||19 pounds|
|Grand Total||989 pounds|
On May 4, 2018, CFF’s Co-Executive Director Tony Dorazio along with Chad Adams of Ground Plan Studio, Bio-Logical Capital will be presenting Carbon Farming: The Climatic, Social and Economic Implications of Regenerative Agriculture at the 2018 Sustainability Symposium hosted by Green Build United at Penn State at The Navy Yard in Philadelphia, PA from 9:00am-10:00am.
This session will be moderated by Hannah Smith-Brubaker, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and will discuss Carbon Farming; farming in a way that reduces greenhouse gas emissions or captures and holds carbon in vegetation and soils. It is managing land, water, plants, and animals to restore ecosystems, ameliorate climate change, and provide nutrient dense food and educational opportunities. Also described as Regenerative Agriculture, these goals are achieved through a focus on lower-sequestration strategies like no-till organic annual cropping, perennial crops, and managed grazing. Attendees will learn the overall concepts and specific metrics of this emerging practice through four business case studies, and will come to understand the implications for communities on how and where these types of food production can fit.
For more information about the symposium or to register please click here: https://greenbuildingunited.org/events/2018-sustainability-symposium
Preheat the broiler. Whisk the yogurt, 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the cayenne in a large bowl. Add the kale and toss to coat; set aside at room temperature.
Toss the shrimp with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil on a baking sheet. Broil until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes; let cool slightly.
Add the shrimp, chickpeas, tomatoes and red onion to the bowl with the kale; toss to coat. Warm the pitas in the microwave for 3o seconds. Fill with the shrimp-kale mixture.
In an effort to make warmer weather get here faster, we are bringing back our CFF t-shirts! Sizes range from Small to X-Large. Sweatshirts are $17.50 and we accept cash, check, or credit card. Merchandise can be purchased directly from the farm by contacting Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, 100% of the proceeds go to feed the needy in our own backyards.
By partnering with several Bucks County food pantries, Broad Street Ministry, Coalition Against Hunger, Cathedral Kitchen and Face to Face, people throughout the Philadelphia area are benefiting from our nutritious harvest.