Karen started off her career in early childhood education, and moved to Massachusetts in 1978 when her husband, Dave, began his residency in family medicine. While raising four children, she became interested in growing food organically, and in 1985 Karen and Dave bought the property that would become Sweetwater Farm. At first, she planted large gardens and learned to freeze, can, dry, and preserve the vegetables and fruits that she grew. Then she started raising chickens, sheep, goats, and eventually cattle. Soon the homestead was producing more food than her family needed, so Karen began selling the extra food to neighbor’s & friends, and Sweetwater Farm was born. Throughout the years, Karen has found that farming with a collaborative team that is integrated into the community is one of the keys to sustainability, both of the farm and of the farmers.
Farm Operations & Marketing
Laura, Karen’s daughter-in-law, joined the Sweetwater Farm team in 2015 to help transition the farm to a new generation. Her work at Sweetwater Farm is focused on whole-farm planning, marketing, distribution, and event coordination. A graduate of Green Mountain College’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Production Program, she furthered her study of sustainable agriculture at diversified farms in Massachusetts and Vermont, including Drumlin Farm, Crabapple Farm, and Maple Wind Farm. She is excited about bringing more on-farm activities to Sweetwater, including farm to table dinners.
Cattle & Hay
Steve joined Sweetwater Farm in 2015 as beef herd manager, and is responsible for managing our rotational grazing system, making certified organic hay, and fixing everything that breaks! His passion for animals started with wildlife in college at UMass Amherst and was cultivated on the Trustees of Reservations’ farm properties in Dover and Hingham. With previous experience in forestry and wildlife conservation, Steve’s heart lies with holistic and environmentally responsible management practices.
Vegetables & Eggs
Lisa joined the crew at the start of 2016 to expand Sweetwater Farm’s market garden and egg-laying production. She is a graduate of Green Mountain College’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Production Program, as well as the University of Vermont’s Farmer Training Program. She has worked on farms across the country growing organic vegetables, producing medicinal and culinary herbs, milking goats, making cheese, and raising livestock. Growing vegetables for the local community with her partner Angela is a dream come true.
Vegetables, Eggs, & Education
Another GMC alum, Angela has a degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Accessible, Farm-Based Education. At Sweetwater, she will put her skills to work co-managing the market garden and laying flock, as well as creating educational programing for visiting school groups. Angela’s previous farm experience includes work at ALL Together Farm, Singing Cedars Farm, and Luna Bleu Farm in Vermont, as well as Holly Hill Farm and The Neighborhood Farm in Massachusetts. In November of 2015, Angela and Lisa completed a six-month cross-country road trip which they spent volunteering at farms from MA to CA, gathering new skills, ideas, and techniques for the 2016 season.