If you’ve visited the farm in the past couple of weeks, you may have met our assistant growers, Katie Soriano and Ken Skudder. If you haven’t (yet), here’s a brief introduction:
Katie, a New Jersey native, is very excited to be a new member of the Stearns Farm community. As a graduate of Dickinson College, Katie studied Environmental Science with a focus on sustainable agriculture. Fortunately, as an institution, Dickinson fosters a strong sense of environmental stewardship. Katie was able grow her passion for sustainable agriculture by working as an apprentice at the Dickinson College Farm after graduation. Katie has a strong appreciation of farming on a small scale and can’t wait to expand her knowledge at Stearns Farm.
Having a grandmother and mother who enjoyed planting flowers, Katie developed her love of plants and the outdoors at an early age. During her childhood summers, Katie could often be found digging her hands in dirt and learning new varieties of flowers and plants. Katie’s love of nature continued to evolve as she became interested in activities such as hiking, camping, and trail running.
Katie’s favorite crops are carrots, tomatoes, bok choy, and kale. Additionally, she loves growing basil to make a good pesto. On the farm, you can find Katie working with volunteers and work shares, harvesting for the weekly CSA, and tending to the seedlings to the greenhouse (one of her favorite jobs). She values how Stearns Farm plays a vital role in supporting the local economy and feeding the community.
Ken is an avid farmer. He loves vegetables, both growing them and eating them. He is originally from Ohio, but moved to New England because of the abundance of local food and small-scale, sustainable, diversified farms here. He has worked on half a dozen farms in New England, including vegetable and dairy farms. His favorite vegetable to harvest is kohlrabi and his favorite vegetable to eat is the artichoke. He enjoys efficient systems, and singing little songs about farming as he works.
When he is not farming, Ken likes playing ultimate frisbee, soccer, and guitar as well as rock climbing, going for bike rides and walks, cooking, baking excessive amounts of cookies, building websites, writing short fiction, washing his friends’ dishes, helping kids with their homework, and listening to music.
Ken is excited about Stearns Farm because of the awesome sense of community here, the beautiful landscape, the incredibly rich soil, and the intimate scale which all make it feel like a special place to work.