Those who chose agriculture over academia to meet Dr. Strasburg [farm series] | Food

This is the sixth in a continuous series focusing on the creative use of small independent farms and farmlands. We hope that the food grown in Lancaster County is diverse and extraordinary, reminding those who care for the land that there is a story worth telling. Join us to salute our neighbors.

The plan is as follows: PhD candidate Jason Stone will travel to Nepal for a research trip in 2016 while his wife settles in Lancaster. He returned home ten months later, wrote a treatise, and became a professor of political science. But while standing in the rural rice fields of Nepal, Stone’s academia career dream was tested by a newly realized passion: agriculture.

As part of his research, Stone, then 32, lived in a remote area of ​​southern Nepal for 10 weeks with a family who owned more than an acre of rice and raised a vegetable garden. He learned to scoop rice and thresh it by hand, and began daily chores in his mansion. He realized that farming felt like a call.

Jason Stone sells his produce at the Lititz Farmers Market, a seasonal market that runs Thursday afternoon through October.

“I found that I like cleaning goat droppings as much as I write a research treatise,” Stone told LNP. Lancaster Online in a recent interview. “I liked it (agricultural work). I was satisfied with this when I was walking down the road (in Nepal) watching the sunset on my way home from work. And I remember saying it out loud. , “There may actually be something here.” “

Stone said he would do fieldwork on his treatise during the day and focus on agriculture at night. “I’ll watch a small farming video on YouTube,” said Stone, a Canadian farmer and internet sensation Curtis Stone (public speaker and author of “Urban Farmer”) and Jean Martin Fortier (“Urban Farmer” public speaker and author. I quoted the author of “Market Gardener”). Inspiration for a detour in his career. “I found out that my idea wasn’t as dreamy as I expected,” Stone said in an online video.

When Stone returned to Lancaster in 2017, he received his PhD and decided to pursue this new path. While writing his treatise, Stone worked part-time at Stoner’s homemade vegetables, a stand by farmer John Stoner at Lancaster Central Market. He graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana in 2018, just earned a PhD in philosophy and continued to sell produce with the new owner of the stand, Elmer Stoltzfus. (Currently the stand is known as Stoltzfus Farms.)

Last spring, Stone gave a second part-time gig to learn poultry processing at Shenks Poultry and began looking for land by the fall. Stone founded The Productive Peasant Farm Co with a $ 12,000 microloan from USDA and guidance from SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon.

Stone was lucky to lease a half-acre from Amish farmer Steve Esch, who owns the Ronks-based Redburn Produce. (Esh sells vegetables at the Westshore Farmers Market in Dauphin County.) Esh was founded on three terms: Stone No Chemicals, No Agriculture on Sundays, and Stone’s First Dive of Produce. He said he provided the land for free for two years. ..

The half-acre plot contains a high tunnel that allows the stone to grow almost all year round. In March, he launched the first “Small Family Salads and Side Dishes” CSA. This was an intimate and satisfying experience, servicing only nine local families until July.

“It’s incredibly satisfying to give someone a box of vegetables and say,’This week’s food is here,'” Stone said. “When someone in my CSA says they had a great meal with what I grew up with, I can continue for two weeks with such a little comment.”

This year’s CSA may be long, but you can find Stone with its own stand at the Lititz Farmers Market, which sells over 20 different vegetables and fruits.

When asked if there was a story behind the name of his farm, Stone said he used the ancestral ancestry of farmers from France and Quebec, who married modern technology and power tools. He stopped for a moment and sweated between his eyebrows on a hot Sunday afternoon. “I don’t know how many farmers have a PhD and a six-digit student loan,” he said with a laugh.

But if anyone is trying to make this left-wing dream come true, it may just be a stone.

Those who chose agriculture over academia to meet Dr. Strasburg [farm series] | Food

Source link Those who chose agriculture over academia to meet Dr. Strasburg [farm series] | Food

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