Jean-Paul started Roxbury Farm in 1990 in Claverack after starting the vegetable garden at Hawthorne Valley Farm. Jean-Paul attended a 4-year training school for Biodynamic Agriculture in the Netherlands before he emigrated to the United States. In 2000, Roxbury Farm moved to new land in Kinderhook, gaining secure land tenure in perpetuity. Jean-Paul works constantly to maintain and build soil fertlity on the farm. He hopes to change our outlook on soil by calling it "earth" instead of soil or dirt as this implies something unpleasant (you soil your clothes or you get your hands dirty).
Jody joined the farm in 2000. She studied biology and botany at the University of Iowa before returning to her agricultural roots. She follows in the foot steps of her farming grandparents and uncles along with her sister, Keri, who is also one of Roxbury's farmers. Together Jean-Paul and Jody are committed to furthering the practices of sustainable agriculture by educating customers and future farmers. They also work closely with many other organizations such as Northeast Organic Farming and Gardening Association, the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Assocation, Columbia Land Conservancy, Cornell University, Just Food, Cornell Coopertive Extension, Equity Trust, the Open Space Institute, and the National Park Service at the Martin Van Buren National Historic site to expand the circle of organizations promoting and supporting sustainable agriculture.
Keri and her husband Matt join us from Vermont. Keri has worked on organic vegetable farms in Vermont since 2003 (Shelburne Farms, Intervale Community Farm, and Walker Farm). She studied horticulture and forestry at Iowa State University and spent a year working and learning at Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia, PA. Matt also studied horticulture and forestry in Colorado and at Iowa State University.
Keri lends her skills in all manner of field work and in the office doing CSA administration.
Mike and Michele are east coasters returning after working on farms in California for a number of years. They are comitted to working on Roxbury Farm for a number of years. In addition to the work of harvesting, weeding, planting, etc. Mike cares for the crops grown in plastic mulch and helps with field work and equipment maintenance. Michelle takes on the greenhouse production and transplanting. They are also incubating their own business of raising pastured broilers. They raise about 1000 meat chickens each year on pasture. This gives Roxbury Farm members the opportunity to purchase pastured poultry straight from the farm.
Linda and Dave are Jody's parents who joined the farm staff in 2004 after retiring from teaching in public school in Iowa. Linda works in the office two afternoons a week helping with CSA administration. You can reach her during the season in the office on Monday and Friday afternoons.
Dave is the farm handyman and web guru. When we need something built or we need something repaired we call on Dave. We break it and he puts it back together. Dave also updates and takes care of the farm website.
Maria lives locally in Valatie with her husband and five children. She has worked on farms for many years and we are grateful for her careful work, farming knowledge, and for her ready laughter.