Hi, I’m Jess…

I run the farm solo. Of course, the insects, soil, sun, wind, and birds are all part of the team as well, but I am responsible for paying careful attention to the whole system that delivers the vegetables to you.

I grew up in rural Iowa canoeing the driftless rivers. I enjoyed a career in conservation for 8 years as an environmental educator, which prompted me to teach by example. I began farming for markets in 2014 in Maine.

My true passion is art. I am working towards us all being able to spend more time being creative.

How my personal values drive my farming practices:

  • I remind myself that we are not separate from the natural world by reading books like Becoming Kin by Patty Krawec.

  • I try to give more than take. This means doing more than cover cropping and reduced tillage. I plant native legumes, deep rooted grasses, and flowering prairie plants to harbor wildlife partnerships.

  • I get to know my neighbors

  • I try to understand my own limitations and histories.

Farming Experience:

In 2014 I began working in Maine on a 12 acre organic market farm called Peacemeal Farm. I’d call it baptism by fire. We all lived on the farm, worked sun up to sun down, and did everything together. This farm is known for working long hard days. The time-tested methods of harvesting, weeding, planting, washing and marketing remain my primary reference today. I landed next at Gardens of Egan in Northfield, MN. Brassicas and conveyor belts was the main game. It was the first job I accepted that did not offer housing and livable compensation. I slept in my little car for a month until I found a room to rent on Craigslist. The people are my favorite everywhere I go, and this is especially true for this 2015 farm crew at Gardens of Egan. Out of survival, I prioritized a higher wage farm job, which delivered me into a management position for an 800+ member CSA for three years. I coordinated the daily operations of a farm crew of 8-12 people. The comradery I feel with this team remains unmatched. When I realized that my middle-management position made me complicit in labor exploitation, I began job hunting like my life depended on it. I returned to a career in conservation as an environmental educator working for the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation. I started Dropseed Farm in 2023 with a renewed outlook. I have reconnected with formative mentors in the conservation field and I carry those influences into my farming endeavor.

Do I plan to farm for the rest of my life? Farming is something that I am doing right now, but it is not the end-goal. I am working towards us all spending more time being creative.

What did I do before farming? I worked as an environmental educator (also known as a Naturalist) leading outdoor learning programs that fulfill state curriculum standards. I have a Bachelors degree in Forestry from Iowa State University.

We’re all in this together.


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Dropseed Farm LLC

Certified Organic through MOSA and The Real Organic Project
Located at the Sinsinawa Mound Collaborative Farm

© 2022 Dropseed Farm      

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