To Whom It May Concern,
I would like to share some exciting news with the people close to Tracie’s Farm. Over the past few months I have been talking with Tom and Mary Frazier about purchasing Tracie’s Community Farm from them. Tom and Mary approached me offering to sell the property, and wanted to know how we could make it work. After months of decision making and playing with different possibilities and scenarios, that initial offer is becoming a reality. I am thrilled to be the future owner of this beautiful, productive piece of property!
I have lived and worked on Tracie’s Farm going on eight years this spring. I started a few years out of college—in Marlboro, VT—and I had just moved back east from working on a farm in Olympia, WA. I didn’t know where I wanted to live long term, and I thought Tracie’s might be a good stopping place for a couple years before I found a place to move on to. The first two years here I worked under and learned from Kristen and Sarah Wilson—long term members will remember them as the farm managers preceding my own tenure. We had a tight, hardworking crew, and those first couple of years will always be part of my mental image on the farm. Sunny, full of laughs, hard work, and beautiful veggies. I often think back to those times.
My second year in, Kristen and Sarah announced they would be departing at the end of the season to pursue another farm related career. I knew then that the void they would leave was one I wanted to fill. I was young, inexperienced, and I can say this with great clarity now, completely naïve to the demands of running a vegetable farm, but I was also determined, willing to accept failure as I learned, and surrounded by an incredibly supportive community.
The first few years managing Tracie’s I leaned heavily on those around me while I found my footing in a new position on the farm. I never got to work with Tracie in the field, by the time I arrived Tracie had already welcomed her youngest, Pierce, into her life and no longer managed the farm day to day, but we spent hours on the phone in that first year as I asked about past practices and pitched future ones. I met other CSA farmers, Craig and Megan of Sun Moon Farm, Gene of Hungry Bear Farm, and Kim and Frank from Hillside Springs, to name a few, and would pick their brains at every chance I got. It turned out to be quite a few as we organized monthly work parties on our farms that year, and in that first fall when the farm was drowning in weeds and I was unsure if I could ever make it as a farmer, they came and weeded entire swaths of the farm. Five years later and we still visit our farms once a month in the growing season to lend a hand to our so-called competitors.
Towards the end of my second year managing Tracie’s, Tracie approached me about purchasing the farm from her. She had recently welcomed Laurel, her second child, into the world, and had not worked on the farm in over 5 years, but at that time I wasn’t prepared to step into such a role. Tracie next asked the neighbors, Tom and Mary Frazier of Elephant Rock Farm, the farm that Tracie’s land used to be a part of before it was “Tracie’s.” Tom and Mary jumped at the opportunity to reconnect the two pieces of land, and as has since been revealed to me, hold on to the land until I was ready to purchase it myself. I cannot express my gratitude enough for them to have done so.
Which brings us to today, 8 years and two owners later, I am getting the opportunity to carry the farm into the future. It is with great excitement, and profound reverence, that I would like to share with you that I am opening my own farm business, Dog Days Farm, on the land that Tracie’s has so long occupied. Tracie’s has a rich history both on this land and in the community, but the business has had its fair share of ups and downs over the last decade. The farm has changed dramatically over the years as we adjusted to new markets, and I believe that Dog Days Farm embodies the changes that have been made. The foundation that Tracie built, her principles and practices, will be alive on the property and in the community, and with Tracie’s blessing, we believe that a change in the business will bring stability to this landmark property.
Welcome to Dog Days Farm! (I will be saying it a lot as I get used to it) Our mission is to grow fresh, healthy produce for our neighbors and friends. We believe in hard work, passion, progress, and providing for one another so that everyone can enjoy eating locally and with the seasons.
I chose the name Dog Days Farm because of how it represents farming’s relationship with the past. The phrase “dog days of summer” has its origins in antiquity, when the Greeks and Romans believed that the hottest days of the year were brought on when the brightest star in the night sky, Sirius or “the dog star,” rises with the sun in mid-July. Farming is full of phrases which harken back to the past, it is the product of millennium of progress and innovation. I like to think that Dog Days Farm will be a continuation of what was already built on this property, and be able to carry on the legacy left by Tracie’s Farm.
Dog Days Farm will operate in much the same way Tracie’s did. Community is still at the center of it all, and I love the way CSA helps foster that community. We have many members that have shared the harvest with us for over twenty years (!), and maintaining those long-term relationships is incredibly important to me. The CSA will remain mostly the same, with shares being offered in spring, summer, and fall, albeit at a lower capacity than in years past. Returning members will get priority in our CSA.
We have a growing number of friends of the farm from the farm store and farmers markets we have been developing over the last few years. Dog Days Farm will continue to attend farmers markets and grow our farm store and plant stand.
Finally, I will continue to communicate with our members using the Tracie’s account on a limited basis as everyone gets used to the switch (including me), but going forth you will start to get updates on the farm from my Dog Days Farm email address, email@example.com. Our new website will be http://www.dogdaysnh.com.
Thank you all for being a part of my journey to get to this point. I can’t say enough how excited I am to be starting a new, but familiar, chapter in my life. Once again, I am feeling inexperienced for what lies ahead, but I will continue to rely on my ability to learn and progress, the community members that have always been so supportive along the way, and this time, a little more perspective on the demands of a diversified vegetable farm.
Dog Days Farm
SPRING CSA SHARES
I plan to open up shares in earnest on January 1st, but will be selling spring shares starting immediately.
Spring Shares will have a capacity of 30 CSA members this year, which is 20 shares less than we have offered in the past. This share is highly sought after, so I recommend signing up early!
If you would like to sign up for a spring CSA share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and specify whether you will be picking up on the farm or at our Keene pickup location, and if you would like any eggs with your share.
Spring shares are $300 for 12 weeks, starting Wednesday, March 15th.
Pickup location available in Keene for an addition $48.
Eggs available weekly-$66 or bi weekly-$33
To order please email email@example.com and I will reply with your total