A Fond Farewell

Today, we said good-bye to Megan Baxter, Cedar Circle’s Production Manager for the last several years, as she begins a new adventure in the South.

Megan started working at the farm picking strawberries as a teenager 13 years ago. I think she knew at that very young age that she loved working hard, working out of doors in a beautiful setting, figuring out how to make things grow, and learning how to grow things in a better way each year. Megan came back to the farm every year during her high school and college years. Eventually, she became a full time manager at the farm.

I happened to have a conversation today with a woman who taught Megan in middle school. This insightful educator recognized Megan’s intelligence and creative talent even as a middle school student. And, to be sure, we all know Megan as a very gifted writer. She was a presidential scholar for the arts during her senior year in high school. She had some short stories and poems published during her college years. But, during the years Megan worked at the farm, she used her talents in very different, but still incredibly creative ways.

Megan has had a profound impact on the way the farm operates today. She worked with Will & Luke to figure out the best varieties of strawberries to grow on our land, as well as the growing methods that make the most sense for our region. She nurtured scores of young people who came to work in the fields during various stages of their lives. Some of them come back throughout their college years, recounting how Megan has had a profound influence on how they developed as people. Megan served as a role model and cared deeply about her young field and production crew.

She instituted many “best management practices” (documenting, for example, harvesting and processing techniques for every vegetable grown on the farm) that we will use in our production systems for years to come. She took over the management of all the annuals and perennials and started the tradition, which I love, of naming the mixed baskets after famous women, choosing a different category each year (poets one year, rock & roll divas another). Megan has helped organize community festivals, such as the Father’s Day Berry Brunches and our many years of Tomato Tastings. Her forethought, creativity, and caring nature brought authenticity to the farm.

As Megan moves on to the next stage in her life, she plans to get back to her writing. We know that she will be successful in any endeavor she sets her mind to. We wish her the best of luck, but we will miss her sharp wit and presence on the farm.

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