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Welcome to our blog! Learn about our farm operation, public programs, and the people behind our work through the Notes from the Field and Education sections. Peruse the Recipes section for some staff favorites.

Waltham Fields Community Farm (incorporated as Community Farms Outreach, Inc.) is a nonprofit farming organization focusing on sustainable food production, fresh food assistance, and on-farm education. For more information about Waltham Fields check out our website!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Notes from the Field - Shannon's First Notes

Simply put, I love being on a farm.  Growing up at the end of my family's Michigan farm gave me a deep appreciation of attachment to land, open space and community. Both of my parents came from farming families and I have wonderful memories of selling plants alongside my grandparents at Detroit Eastern Market as well as horrible memories of weeding the enormous garden with my brother...we didn't have the same view as Leo, from last week's notes!  But I never grew tired of the quarter mile bike ride to the farm house and the flavor of those garden vegetables.  It was worth the work.

Shannon's family farm in Michigan
While studying music therapy in college, I started working in the food service industry. I found this work fascinating and it fueled my insatiable appetite to learn about the history, business, anthropology and even the politics of food. The more I learned, the more I realized that our larger food system is broken and I began to think of how I could make a positive contribution. This led me to my first CSA share at the Food Project in Lincoln, MA.  Before I even got out of the car, I was hooked.  Here was the familiar feeling of land, open space and community with the enhancement of education, shared fate and commitment to fix our broken food system.  Now, I could not only fuel my fire, but I could begin to kindle one with my son by taking him to the farm every week and sharing my deep appreciation of this lifestyle with him. 

Since that first CSA share 9 years ago, I have been dedicated to supporting local farms, creating a lifestyle centered around fresh, healthy food and educating the community on this passion.  I have spent the majority of my professional life in food service at Whole Foods Market working in a variety positions, most recently Marketing Team Leader and Community Liaison for the Fresh Pond store.  Whole Foods Market is how I came to learn about WFCF and partnered to provide cooking classes on the farm, share samples at Farm Day and host the Youth Crew for a store tour and cooking class...basically trying to get on the farm as much as I could! After the discovery of such an amazing farm doing really great things (and closer to home!), I signed up for a work share last year and joyfully spent Thursdays in the distribution barn, filling up bins and spending hours deciding which vegetables to take home. 
One of our Distribution Work Shares, Deepika Madan (left),
and Shannon Taylor (our new ED) during a CSA pick up.
You probably have guessed by now that I am thrilled to be on the farm every day!  I am incredibly thankful to the staff and Board of Directors for the incredible opportunity to serve them and the Waltham Fields community.  These first two weeks have been fantastic!  There have been field trips to fields, farm and equipment tours, harvesting onions and transplanting lettuce with a volunteer group and loads of information sharing.  I learned about flame weeders, dibblers and irrigation pump infrastructure. I ate an awesome, home-baked pie brought in for a birthday celebration.  And I have met so, so, so many fantastic people.  I am indebted to Claire Kozower for taking the time to thoroughly orientate, train and give me a solid, well-organized start.  She is an incredible resource as well as an amazing person and I value every minute with her. 

As the season rolls on, I look forward to meeting everyone and listening to your experiences, ideas and stories about Waltham Fields Community Farm.  Please feel free to stop in to say hi or send a note.  The thriving WFCF community is a huge part of what makes the farm such a special place!  The farm is the heart that makes all of our food access and education programs possible and I love to see our community out on the farm enjoying the food, land and each other.  It's a great place to be.  
-Shannon Taylor, Executive Director

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