Laurel Grove Wine Farm | Winchester, VA
1. What motto do you live by?
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I think that is the fundamental premise of nutrient dense food. Imagine the health problems we could avoid with some preventative medicine in the form of nutrient dense food.
2. What did you do before you were a farmer/rancher?
Being a high school history teacher gave me a few interesting perspectives and skills. I was always struck by how the people I taught about (Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks. etc.), those who met the moment, could have been anyone. It made me think “why not me? Why can’t I make change?” Teaching also taught me the importance of planning for outcomes. With the farm I know exactly what I am trying to build, and while the path may change, all the decisions are moving us towards our goals.
3. How do you see yourself (or your role) in the regenerative movement?
I want to show people that it can be done. You can, and should, farm without a Hazmat suit.
4. Who inspires you?
Robin Wall Kimmerer wrote “Braiding Sweetgrass” which touches my soul. I have so much respect for native people’s reverence for the earth and their perceived partnership with their environment. Also Martha Stewart, I think she is a remarkable female businesswomen who doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her. She has worked so hard, faced serious setbacks, and always rises to the occasion.
5. What was the moment you decided to become a farmer?
When I had my son. I felt a compulsion to do something bigger. I felt farming was a real key piece to the puzzle of environmental health. And if we could farm differently we could find solutions. If I could farm this way then maybe other people would be inspired to farm this way. And even if I wasn’t able to change hearts and minds, my family wouldn’t be eating food with chemicals.