Tracie’s Farm is Changing Hands
A message to our CSA and community members from Tracie Loock
Today, I sold the farm business and land to Tom and Mary Frazier of Elephant Rock Farm, LLC. The farm’s land was originally part of the Elephant Rock Farm property, so they are ecstatic to have all the land back together again as one piece. They are very excited to continue the model of Tracie’s Community Farm, LLC and all it’s become over the last 22 years. Jack Rixey and the returning crew of Will Kindler, Nolan Buonomano, and Sarah Tarr with all of their energy and passion for farming the land will continue to manage the farm long term.
For those of you who’ve met Jack and seen what he has done since he took over management two years ago probably have already seen that the farm is in great hands. For those of you who haven’t he is a rare soul who like I did, needs the farm as much as the farm needs him. He lives and breathes it and wants nothing more than to see it succeed. Under his management he has a loyal crew who cares for the farm as much as he does.
Will Kindler became a full-time crew member in Jack’s first year of management, after working part time the year before. Will came with 13 years of farming experience from Rosaly’s in Peterborough, and took over the role of the field manager at Tracie’s in 2018. Will is an open, charming man that is the perfect fit for leading crew members and community members working in the field.
Nolan Buonomano joined the farm at the tail end of 2018, but did not waste any time immersing himself in the farm and the work. In only a few months he knew that he wanted to return the next year and take an active role in stewarding the farm.
Sarah Tarr started at Tracie’s part time in the spring of 2018. After growing up in the city, Sarah was enamored by the natural world that she felt she lacked in Manchester. Her commitment to the farm is rooted in her love for the nature.
Together, Jack, Sarah, Will, and Nolan will manage and care for the farm. They have built up a repertoire among themselves that allows them to work efficiently and trust one another. Their love for the farm, for the work, and for each other motivates them to carry on the farm to its fullest potential.
Elephant Rock Farm will add to the offerings of Tracie’s Community Farm with their maple syrup production, free range eggs, livestock, pumpkins, fruit trees and firewood. These additions combined with our three-season CSA, farm stand, farm store, farmers markets, and wholesale accounts will provide the crew with year round employment keeping our incredible crew earning a paycheck doing what they love all season long. This will allow them to continue farming into the future.
This is an incredible opportunity for the farm and crew and we are so thankful for the sustainability it will bring. One of the big missing pieces was keeping our crew employed throughout the winter. We lost a lot of well trained and great people because of lack of winter employment over the years.
Another benefit of this merger is that they have super cute animals that members are always welcome to visit when they pick up their share or stop by the farm. People always used to ask me: Do you have any animals? Now we do! And having my own children now, I know how important it is for this connection.
For those of you who knew me from the beginning and can’t imagine how there can be the farm without Tracie, let me tell you I thought the same thing. I never would have believed you if you told me this would come to pass. But I have always been open to what is best for the greatest purpose and I always try to remember not to hold onto things that aren’t for the greater good. Sometimes our minds want to hold onto things even though it’s not right anymore.
After having children my priorities and perspective have changed a lot. Farming requires a lot of attention and energy that I don’t have for the farm anymore. I want that for my children. They need me now, and will for at least 16 years into the future if not longer. And I’m open to what my next purpose will be that won’t take up quite so much energy so I can be a good mother and have purpose in a balanced way. And I keep thinking of the Pete Seeger song from words from the Bible: Turn, Turn, Turn: “to everything there’s a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.”
When I farmed I put everything I had into it. And I built something that so many have been a part of. The farm has become so much more then Tracie’s Community Farm. It’s so many things to so many people. And it will continue to be that and so much more. It’s what you want it to be. And now it’s my time to be a mother and to explore new passions.
Through the farm I’ve learned and grown so much over the past 22 years. I am forever thankful for the education and higher purpose it brought to my life and for all of the community support that enabled it to become what it is today. I feel good about all of the hard work and perseverance that went into establishing something meaningful and worthwhile for our community. And now I’m confident that at just the right time I’m passing it on to new owners and a seasoned crew who have the energy, skills, passion, and determination to bring it to a new level.
I’m not going anywhere. I’m available to the farm for advice and plan to do a work share with my children once they’re both capable of being helpful. I’m also hoping to integrate some hands on field trips with our school in town.
If you want to see Tracie’s Community Farm continue and become so much more into the future, please continue to buy spring, summer and/or fall shares. Purchase our vegetables, herbs and fruit along with other local goods like bread, eggs, cheese, ice cream, maple syrup, honey, meats, milk, and more at our farm store. Purchase vegetable, herb and flower starts in the spring at our farm stand for your own gardens. Participate in a work share or delivery share. It all keeps the farm going.
Support your local hard working farmers. I can tell you first hand it takes every piece of you when you’re a farmer. Blood, sweat and tears and I will always respect any farmer as I’ve been there. No one’s getting rich farming. It’s a true labor of love. So please continue to support Jack, the crew and Tracie’s Community Farm. It can be a rock to our community that feeds us into the future. But we need to support them if we want to see our farm continue.
Payments For Fall Shares Due Nov. 7th
The deadline for full payment of fall CSA shares is coming up on Thursday, Nov. 7th. Anyone with an outstanding balance will receive an email reminder, as well. If you are not sure, please email email@example.com, and we will get back to you with your balance.
Week 4 of Fall Shares!
If you read the message above it is clear that there will be some (hopefully minor) changes around the farm this winter. Tracie is selling the farm to our neighbors, however the farm crew will remain the same and we intend to continue running the farm as we have since beginning at Tracie’s. We will have a more in depth message to our community members following the fall season, but wanted to let everyone know that just because the farm is changing hands, doe not mean the farm will be changing our practices. We are looking forward to an exciting future!
Spinach will drop out of the rotation this week in favor of lettuce mix. We might ed up including spinach depending on how much weight we get for lettuce mix in our greenhouse. Radishes will be in baskets this week. We decided to hold off on them last week to size up a little bit. Acorn will be back in baskets this week! It’s one of our favorite squash’s, and should be in shares once more after this week. Cabbage will be back in baskets this week. It will be green cabbage this time around and is looking good, although slightly on the smaller side. Leeks and potatoes will be back in shares, and kale will make another appearance. Parsley will go around baskets this week. It will be a mix of curly and flat parsley to make sure we get our weight, but it all cooks the same!
Shares will go out: Thursday 11/7
Some veggies may come with limited pest damage. We are committed to operating as a 100% Spray and Pesticide Free farm, and one of the results of that is occasional pest problems. Typically the extent of the damage is small holes nibbled by insects, and we will never pass out vegetables that have lost their nutritional integrity due to pest damage. We hope you will understand!
A ? signifies a crop that we pass out over a couple of weeks. This could be because it is just starting to come in and is not yet producing enough to pass out to everyone in the same week, or because the crop produces smaller amounts over an extended period of time (like in the case with broccoli). We make sure that everyone receives an equal share, even if it is passed out over a few weeks. If we do not pass out a crop to every basket on a share day, we make note where we left off and resume in that spot the following week.
What to Expect Week 4:
Egg Share: 7 week share only
Anticipated Share Week 5 (subject to change):
Recipe of the Week
A delicious use for your leeks and cabbage this week!
Each week we will offer a recipe that we like that includes as many items from your share as possible. Depending on your share size, you may have to scale the recipes up or down. We often use recipes from outside sources because it gives us a lot more options to share with you all!
We liked having more recipes in our newsletter last week, so we are dedicating this section to squash recipes for the rest of the season! Acorn squash and butternut squash will be rotating back and forth for the final 4 weeks, and we will include many recipes for both!
One of the benefits of the fall share is that the veggies we pass out are good to store for weeks to months in your fridge or another cool, dry place. Please follow the link below for a detailed look into the best techniques for storage!
Tracie’s Accepts SNAP/EBT!
We have teamed up with the Cheshire County Conservation District to bring a SNAP card reader to our farm store. You can now use your SNAP card to purchase any veggies or food items from our farm store or to help pay for your CSA Share! All that AND through Granite State Market Match any veggie purchases on a SNAP card are 50% off! What a deal!
The hours the SNAP reader will be available are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00am to 5:30pm.
Fall Shares Week 4! An Important Announcement From Tracie Loock