Farmily Staff and Alumni Newsletter
November/December 2017

What's been going on since you last heard from us?
I can't believe December is already here. (November was just starting when I began this newsletter!)    We are down to 51 staff members and as get closer to the holiday break there are still a lot of fun things happening!   On Thanksgiving day, the "Frozen Farmers" joined the Annual Turkey Plunge and jumped in the water at children's beach 
It's a fun community fundraiser for the Atheneum and we all agreed
it should be an annual tradition!    
We have been busy planning for next year and doing some restructuring between Greenhouse and Field production and the Garden Center as well as elsewhere on the Farm.  It quickly became apparent that we would not be able to replace Liz, so are moving forward in a different direction.   Fernanda Longo has been promoted to Greenhouse Operations Manager and will oversee the plant operations and ordering between the Greenhouse and Garden Center.  We have hired Owen Moynihan as Garden Center Assistant Manager and we are happy to announce the David Shepard is back from the Peace Corps earlier than expected because he and his wife, Rachel are expecting a baby in May!  He will be starting back next year, but as an Assistant Grower supporting vegetable and flower production and using some of the skills he learned in Nepal!   
In other news, after careful consideration, we have decided to suspend the farm to table dinners and other private events. We have truly enjoyed hosting these dinners and hope we can find a way to offer them again someday in a way that contributes to the sustainability of our business. Next year is our 175 year in operation and we are focusing our energies back on our core activities.
Demisemiseptcentennial or quartoseptcentennial?
It doesn't roll off the tongue, but it means 175th Anniversary!! 
The marketing team is busy working on many ways to promote 175 years of Bartlett's Farm and we could use your help!   We would like to make a video series of Farmily Alumni.  Please participate by sending a short video (60 seconds or less) which includes an introduction with your name, what job and year(s) you worked here, where you are from and where you are now.  Please also answer one of the following questions:
What is your favorite/funniest memory of the Farm?
How has the Farm changed your life and/or influenced your career?
What was the best lesson you learned here?
-or be creative and say something else about your time here.   
Email and if are interested in participating and we'll have instructions for how to send the video.  

Attention current and former J-1 Students! Share your photos!  #SAVEJ1

You may have read reports about a threat to the future of J-1 programs including Work & Travel USA. As a current and/or previous J-1 Summer Work Travel participant you know the power of cultural exchange.

It makes the world a more understanding and inclusive place.

As a participant, you have a power voice and can help us save these programs! I encourage you to share a photo of yourself from your J-1 exchange experience with us on Facebook or Instagram. In the caption, include the name of your program and the location your photo was taken.

Be sure to tag your friends and use the campaign hashtag #SaveJ1.

Thank you for spending a summer with us! Without you, we could not have run our business and our workplace would not have been nearly as fun or exciting.

This year's Ladies Night was our best ever!  The proceeds went to Liz's family and it was so amazing to see the love and support from the community and Farmily.   Jake Williams and Greyson Keller (aka Greyson's Anatomy) provided great music, Cisco Brewery generously donated and worked the bar, many people donated their time, money and items for the silent and Chinese auctions.   We had special shirt created in Liz's honor and if you didn't get one yet, you can here one at the Bartlett's Farm Online Shop for a $35 donation to the Fund.  
Liz's mom Suzanne and her daughter Lina were happy to join us. 
When we last saw our heroes and villains of the Basement Kingdom, Queen Laurie and disappeared from the cage she was locked in with the terrifying Griffin....Look Here to reread past episodes of The Basement Kingdom II.  

The Basement Kingdom II

By Andrius Mikulenas

(Photoshop by Audrey Hall)

Episode VII: Return of the Queen

To say that our heroes were perplexed would be an understatement – Ser Lamar stood motionless, Ser Lando covered his mouth with his hand in shock and took a few steps back. Only Lady Isabel moved into action – she started quietly searching the entirety of the room, tiptoeing around the sleeping monster and investigating for clues. Meanwhile, Ser Lamar just kept staring at the opened cage, then the sleeping Griffin and then the empty plate. After repeating that for a few rounds he could not hold it in anymore. “Bombo…!”
“Shush” Ser Lando silenced him. “You will wake the beast”
“But this monster obviously ate Laurie” Lamar protested in a lowered voice.
“I don’t think that’s what happened, look.” The Lady of Liverpool pointed to the basement kingdom as it was seen from Dylan’s prison tower. “The great wall has fallen, Dylan is attacking the Basement as we speak. He could have taken Laurie with him”
“Let’s go save our home” said Ser Lando placing his hand on the frustrated Lamar’s shoulder.
Lamar simply lowered his head, sighed and nodded. They all moved out to try and make it in time to save the kingdom from total conquest.
Meanwhile the basement, unbeknownst to our heroes, was already fully under Dylan’s control. He was making laws and taking care of his new subjects.
“We should send the slackers to do cart runs and shorten their lunch breaks to half an hour.” suggested Chief Whitney as she was sharpening her sword. “Otherwise this slow progress on rebuilding the wall and other defenses will cost us greatly. My spies tell me the battle of the cold is over and Lord Michael is victorious. Soon he will be sending his armies here and if not him then the mindless hordes of shopping walkers will get us first. Gods, they make my blood boil!
“I will not mistreat my new subjects like that!” King Dylan’s voice echoed in the pallet palace. “I have already made an alliance with the Garden Centa kingdom, they will back us as long as I pledge my hand in marriage to their princes – Annie of house Lynch.
“You don’t seem so happy with this arrangement” Whitney noted.
“Well you see, during my short conversation with the princess she told me that she’s not ready to get married, “stealing her youth” she called it, told me that her house is called “Lynch” for a reason and that I might suffer some sort of terrible accident if I were to say “I do”” King Dylan’s eyes were now looking into nothing with a blank stare.
“And yet you still went through with it?” Whitney asked to snap Dylan out of his trance.
“I had no choice, it is what’s best for the realm…” Dylan answered slouching in his throne.
While legions of Garden Centa troops moved to the city, our heroes did too. They swiftly rode day and night before presiding on foot as the city’s walls and gates neared. Their plan was simple – “borrow” a merchant’s card, conceal all their equipment and weapons in it, enter the city through the main gate and make their way into the palace undetected. The first plan went without a hitch, the card was secured, though getting past the guards at the gates proved to be a more difficult task than expected. Dylan’s fantasy reading reforms (especial the mandatory reading of Harry Potter) led to a sudden rise in literacy in the common-folk. The guards instantly found problems with the party’s documents.
“Says here, little lady, that you come from the new world” said one of the guards without even taking his eyes of the document.
“Sure do, dude” Lady Isabel easily faked an American accent.
“Okay, just checking, and you two lads, says here you are Lithuanian’s” the guard quoted the document again.
Lando and Lamar, both now sweating bullets, just glanced at each other and nodded. ”Mhm”
“Well, just to be sure - I’ll grab the dictionary and do a quick check to see if you know the language, I’ll also need to see your identification” 
 “You don’t need to see our identification” – Ser Lando said while slightly moving one hand and using the other keep Ser Lamar from reaching for his sword.
To Isabel’s and Lamar’s surprise the guard said “We don’t need to see your identification”
“You can go about your business” – said Lando with the same movement of his hand.
“You can go about your business” – the guard said
“Move along”
“Move along” the guard said and motioned them to move with his hand.
After entering the city Isabel finally asked “What the heck was that back there, Lando?”
“Mind tricks, they only work on the simple minded” Lando answered cracking a slight smile.
“Where did you learn that?” asked Lamar.
 “I was a druid in the garden center kingdom before becoming a knight, knights get paid more…”
At that very moment the merchant’s cart drove over a bump on the road sending a long sword to the ground.
“Blade!” a city guard shouted.
“Blade!” another guard repeated.
Soon, our heroes were surrounded by dozens of city guards. Eventually they were brought before the basement king. The throne room was filled with guards and amazon warriors. Huge crowds of common-folk started gathering outside, waiting for their king to address them from his balcony and announce what fate awaits the traitors.
“You stand before King Dylan, first of his name, King of the Basement, Lord of receiving and protector of invoices” – a servant announced.  
“You guys?” Dylan said with surprise in his voice. “I thought you three are what’s left of the Queen’s guard. Shouldn’t you be saving Laurie right now?” He asked.
“We will do that as soon as tell us where you’re keeping her, usurper!” – shouted Isabel.
Dylan looked confused. He just pointed to the newly erected prison tower in his tiny house. “Have you thought of checking that menacing looking tower? I mean it should be obvious… have you ever heard of the fairytale where the damsel is locked inside of a tower? Shrek, I think it was called”
“She’s not there, you lying troll, where is she really!?” – shouted Lamar.
“What?” Dylan was astonished.
“You fed her to your monster, didn’t you?” shouted Lando.
“What?” Dylan repeated his previous response.
“Just describe to us what Laurie looks like!” Lando shouted again.
“I said, describe Laurie!”
“She’s.. She’s Irish”
“Go on”
“She’s northern Irish…”
“Does she look like an empty plate!?”
“Say what again and I’ll…” suddenly Ser Lando went silent. During the commotion a hooded figure had silently entered the throne room. The figure raised its hands and removed its hood. “Hello, friends.” It was Queen Laurie.
“Whaaa!? But, how did you escape!? King Dylan could not hide his surprise.
 “You didn’t lock the cage” Laurie answered. “Now, move aside! I’m the rightful ruler, Dylan, and these people don’t want you as their king.”
“I do” a voice was heard from the crowd outside.
“Actually, I prefer Dylan!” another man shouted.
“What? But my jams are the best!” Queen Laurie, now at the balcony, shouted to the people gathered below.
“Yeah, but Dylan lets us make friendship bracelets and other cool stuff!” Someone shouted.
“But… but Dylan’s a dictator” argued L-Money.
“What!? Speak up, dearie!” a voice of an old woman was heard.
“I said Dylan is a dic…”
“See! My people love me” Dylan interjected himself into the conversation.
“No need to be so rude, dearie!” the same woman shouted.
“See what?” asked Laurie, now visibly upset. “They are just saying that because you threaten them and order them to!”
“I don’t order praise, I just receive it” stated Dylan with the biggest smile on his face.
“That’s it” said L-Money. “I demand a trail by tennis!”
“Surely you can’t be serious?” Dylan asked with fear in his eyes.
“I am and don’t call my “Shirley”, Dylan” L-Money answered.
Servants and soldiers started moving and running in a breakneck speed and soon the royal tennis court started to take shape. On one side there was the huge and now royal “D” of Dylan – King Dylan’s personal banner and on the other side waved the “L$” of L-Money. Like the court, the crowd was divided as well. Some people had signs supporting Laurie, others had posters praising Dylan. The lights went out and “Money, Money, Money” by ABBA started playing, fans raised huge dollar signs above their heads and Laurie made her entrance. The lights went out again and this time “The power” by SNAP! started booming in the arena, signs that read “Dill Man!”, “D-Man” and alike filled the arena, Dylan flew to the court on the back of his griffin. The battle had begun and it was super close and competitive, but after 11 hours and 6 minutes only one stood tall. Dylan collapsed on the last play and Laurie came out the victor. As basement kingdom customs dictate that she was now the rightful ruler of the kingdom once more. Ser Lando, Ser Lamar and Lady Isabel all rushed in to celebrate with their queen. Their celebration was cut short however when people started noticing that Dylan had yet to move. To make matters even worse, a man dressed in all black magically appeared next to him. It was Smirnoff, the necromancer. Dylan’s griffin took flight and darted to his master’s aid, but the sorcerer waved his hand over Dylan’s fallen body, poked his face and then vanished. The griffin dropped from the air and exploded into a cloud of feathers. Once they settled, Ser Swanson was seen lying between them. The shocked and silent court was now drowned in screams. Dylan was now completely yellow and in great pain.
“What’s wrong? What did he do to you?” asked L-Money.
“Argh… he took… he took my soul and my liver” said Dylan.
“Black magic” said Ser Lando upon examining the scene. “I have studied this and I can slow down the curse, but to cure it completely we need the man who cursed him”
“Oh Dylan!” Laurie cried out with tears on her cheeks. “You were meant to receive, not to deceive”
“I’m… argh! I’m sorry” tears filled Dylan’s eyes as well.
“There is no need for that. I promise you, Dylan, we will find the sorcerer and we will lift this curse!”
“Did someone say lift?” Ser Nick appeared from the crowed. “If there is lifting to be done then you’ll need me on your team.”
“I can’t look at him like this” said Lady Isabel “I’ll help you track down this sorcerer too”
“You will need me with you” said Chief Whitney.
“Count me in” said Ser Lamar.
“Me too” said Ser Swanson just now getting to his feet.
That was how the fellowship formed. Chief Whitney, Lady Isabel, Ser Lamar, Ser Nick and Ser Swanson left the basement kingdom and started the quest for Dylan’s soul. Their journey was long and dangerous, but it was made easier once the crew discovered that Ser Swanson had retained his powers to turn into the giant griffin and fly them to the necromancer’s evil lair. The great battle took hours, but in the end our heroes had defeated the sorcerer and freed Dylan from the curse. Although, Dylan still bares marks of the curse even to this day - one mark is on his chin where the necromancer touched him and the other mark is his hair color. It still shows us that he didn’t have soul at one point. Other than that, everything else was back to normal and everyone lived happily ever after.

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Keep sending me your work and/or travel pictures!  
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​especially showing off your Bartlett's gear!
Let us know what you are up to!  Pictures, articles and updates are always welcome from current and alumni Farmily members.  Email