J is a lifelong lover of plants and the magic that happens when people cultivate relationships to land. This love for plants and gardening led J to study permaculture and herbalism, seeking learning opportunities throughout New England and California. J’s experience is based in cultivating biointensive no till gardens for both production and education, specializing in growing medicinal plants. After years of installing and caring for medicinal herb gardens J developed a desire to gain more hands-on experience with annual food production and Certified Organic practices, and this led them to Stout Oak Farm in 2021.
As Greenhouse Manager, J can be found busy sowing seeds, tending seedlings for the farm and annual plant sale, and taking the lead on our delicious soil grown microgreens production. Joining the harvest is a big part of their role at the farm as well, along with jumping in on field and hoop house work. Some treasured farm tasks for them include sowing trays of microgreens and the feel of thousands of seeds passing through their hands, harvesting bunches of fresh aromatic herbs, spreading compost produced on site, and pruning hoop house tomatoes when they are practically glowing in afternoon sunlight.
The opportunity to contribute to a productive team, grow nutrient dense organic food for the community, and deepen their relationship to working outdoors through the New England seasons are some key reasons that draw J to farming.
Growing food offers J a direct connection to sense of place and seasonal foods. Once tomato season ripens, J brings home seconds on a regular basis and can be found making endless batches of tomato sauce. Along with stocking a chest freezer with farm food, J loves to embark on fermentation projects. Choosing a favorite vegetable feels impossible for them, but some hands down favorites are baby kale, pea shoots, Asian eggplant, and green zebra tomatoes.
In the “in between” moments of farming, J enjoys spending time in the woods, wildcrafting, crafting herbal remedies for friends and family, making bouquets, tending an over the top container garden outside their apartment, leading plant walks at community gardens, and kicking back with their cat Todd.