Our 106th Real Farmer Care recipient is Jesica Clark of Willow Vale Farm @willowvalefarm.
Jes writes, “Willow Vale Farm, located in Stanfordville, NY, was born out of my love for growing plants and producing food. On a not-quite-one acre garden in a five acre parcel, I grow vegetables for a local market and willow for weaving and basket-making. While growing up in the Bronx in the 80s, I planted vegetables out front and looked for plant friends wherever I could find them. Though I was destined for research, my first experience on a farm, just after college, changed my trajectory completely and led me to a life of nurturing plants, first on various CSA and education-based farms in the northeast and finally here, where I could also cultivate and share my passion for all things willow. Throughout this journey it was apparent to me how little BIPOC representation there is, especially for farm mentors, and it's driven me to keep farming. I am here to be seen, to teach, and to learn. In 2013, my husband and I were able to purchase this land through a generous peer-to-peer loan, provided by members of one of my former CSA farms. It is important to me to steward the farm as a space for creation and growth and to pass it on to a future farmer who may otherwise find land access difficult. Though waylaid by Covid fallout, currently we are saving up to build a barn to expand storage space and create a classroom for farm and weaving learning.” . Follow @willowvalefarm and support Jesica’s farm vision via Venmo @ Jesica-Clark. . #realfarmercare #bipocfarmers #willowvalefarm #willowweaving