Farmily Staff and Alumni Newsletter
Winter 2016
What's been going on since you last heard from us?
I know it's been a long time!  Fall is actually a really busy time on the farm.   Even though the market slows down we have been busy holding some manager trainings, working on the budget, recruiting new Interns and staff members for 2017 and planning for the upcoming year.   Yesterday we woke up to our first snow fall with about an inch of powder on the ground so winter is officially here, a few days before the Solstice.  We close for the break on the 20th and re-open on January 14th.   We had a fun Holiday Party this week and recently said hello to some new farm babies and goodbye to some good friends.  Read on! 

Neil and Jen Hudson welcomed their son Elliott Hayden Hudson into the world on November 14th, weighing 9lbs 8oz and a full head of hair, just like his big sister Lyla. 

Andrew and Addie Spollett had their baby boy on November 27th.   Thayer MacPhereson Spollett weighed 8lbs 13oz.  All babies, Moms and Dads are doing well! 

We are so happy to welcome Elliott and Thayer to the Farmily! 
In other happy Farmily news, Will Sinnott and Kayla Spano got married at the Farm in October by our own Mj Mojer (who is a Justice of the Peace in case you didn't know!).  They met when they were both working at the Farm and earlier this year welcomed their adorable son, Charlie, to the Farmily.  We are so happy you guys! 
Where in the World is the Farmily?
News from Nepal 
David Shepard and his wife Rachel are serving 2 years in the Peace Corps and recently filled us in on what life is like there. 

Hope all is well.
I miss the farm every day.
We've been keeping busy over here, but sometimes (often actually) it can be hard to tell what we should be doing, or if our projects will even be taken to heart by the villagers. At the farm I knew what had to be done, and felt useful, and knew I was contributing in a meaningful way. I didn't realize how much I would miss that kind of structure.

We take it one day at a time. Some days go quick: hiking through the foothills, eating guavas and chewing on cinnamon leaves, pulled from trees along the path. Some days go much slower. Trying to tell a room full of riled up 1st graders, that no, it's not okay for the boys to smack the girls, even if there principal says It’s okay, is frustrating.

Choosing more carefully who to work with is helping. Those people who take the time and are patient with us in trying to understand our Nepali are much more pleasant to work with, and generally more receptive to new ideas, so we are working more these days with those people. When we first got here we felt like we should be trying to help everybody, and were making ourselves crazy trying to be everywhere at once.

We had to take a step back and tackle projects one at a time.
Currently we are working with a group of 8 volunteers to organize a 4-day youth Camp Grown.  It’s agriculture based and aimed at giving teenagers opportunities to learn outside of their overcrowded schools.  One major concern we have noted in village is a lack of local opportunities for the young people of the village. With this camp we will help address that concern. To that effect we are also trying to start an after school club at the local government school to teach some improved agriculture techniques to some young people and to help identify enthusiastic participants for the camp.

The camp will be the 2nd week of February and just yesterday we turned in our grant. Our group was struggling with the budget, so I volunteered.
"I'll make a spreadsheet," I said. They were all amazed that if you changed a price, or added a new line, all the totals updated automatically. "Excel can do that?" I told them that that was nothing and they should have seen the spreadsheets I used to work on back home. It was my first experience writing a grant, but it didn't feel too much harder than looking at and explaining inventory numbers.
I was also on the planning board for an HIV Awareness Fundraiser on December 8th in the city of Pohkara.

This month we are also hoping to hold a beekeeping training. Many of the villagers keep bees, but they use the old method (basically a hollowed out log). When the honey is harvested from such a system, you take the baby bees with it, thus crippling the hive. With a bee box, the hive is preserved and you can harvest again next season. We are planning to hold a hive transfer training. There are subsidies available for villagers to buy the bee boxes from the District Ag Office.

In addition it is nearly mushroom season here in Nepal and we have 10 bags of oyster spores on order. We plan to hold a training with a local mothers group to give away some mushroom bags.

Our kitchen garden is going strong too. Some of the villagers were laughing at our permaculture techniques (double digging, sheet layering, etc.) because it’s different from the way they do it (throw seeds on the ground). But now it’s going strong and we harvest something from it every day. At the moment we have some late tomatoes, radishes, carrots, and kale coming out of the ground. They don't really do salads over here, and our host family thinks it’s funny when eat veggies raw. "You mean you aren't going to cook that!?"

I hope this summer wasn't too hectic. I miss the island daily and love reading the farm emails that come through. Although some of the lunch emails make me want to eat the computer screen. Trying to imagine a bowl of rice is a bacon cheeseburger only gets you so far.

Anyway, that's all for now. Here's wishing you a wonderful holiday season. Say hey to the farmily for me.
(Photos- Making Roti above and Mustard fields below)
By the end of year, we will have said goodbye to all of our seasonal staff. We look forward to the return of many next year- Ed Vallardi (left with Wade), Jova Prestes dos Santos, Cheryl Gregorich and hopefully, Samantha Love.   However, with a heavy heart we said a final goodbye to Antonio Mastrodomenico who will not be able to return on a student visa next year.  
Antonio is hoping to get an internship in Canada or New Zealand and we just hope our paths will cross again someday!
Stay in touch, Antonio! 
Check out this great video of Camille's Demi Hour on Nantucket's NPR station featuring Dave Bartlett and Neil Hudson 
Did you know we are in the process of installing a solar array?  

Bartlett's Farm has contracted with Dynamic Energy to host of the island's largest solar installation -- 595 kilowatts on about three acres -- enough to offset 100% of the farm's consumption, making it one of the only farms of its size in Massachusetts that is run entirely with sustainable energy.

"As a seventh-generation business, we are keenly focused on the sustainability of the farm," said John Bartlett, "and renewable energy helps ensure not only stable and low operating expenses, but also promotes cleaner air and water."
Keep sending me your work and/or travel pictures!  
(or letting me steal them from Facebook!)
​especially showing off your Bartlett's gear!

​​​​​​​Happy Holidays!! 
Let us know what you are up to!  Pictures, articles and updates are always welcome from current and alumni Farmily members.  Email