Facets: Meet Suzanne. Who thought a kid from Long Island would become an organic farmer?
Meet Suzanne. Who thought a kid from Long Island would become an organic farmer?
Suzanne was born in Huntington, New York, just about smack in the middle of Long Island on the North Shore. She grew up there with her sister. In high school, she loved science, playing sports and being outside. Their family tried to have a garden several times, but somehow it always failed to really come alive. Suzanne's first job was working for a sailmaker - they made bags out of boat sails. Her second job was as a counselor at Camp Coniston in Grantham.
One summer when she was a counselor, she encountered a camper who was angry that her parents had sent her to camp when her family had a lovely little farm in Plainfield where she could do many of the same things she did at Coniston. After the camper's session ended and she went home, Suzanne remained curious about this young girl. So on her day off, she rode her bicycle from Grantham to Plainfield to check the family and the place out. (That is almost 30 miles and she was not on anything remotely resembling a road bike!) When she finally found the camper's house and family, it turns out she found the family she would later adopt as her own when she went to college in the Upper Valley.
Suzanne threw herself into biology and environmental studies in college. She went to India to study agriculture and land use practices. And after she graduated she went back to India for a year and a half to study agriculture and land use practices. She was sorting things out. Originally she thought she should be an agricultural consultant. For some reason that never quite fit. She had never allowed herself to think that farming would be an acceptable career. But she was happiest when she was in one place working the earth and coaxing forth food. After a brief stint tomato farming in New Jersey, Suzanne moved to Plainfield. Remember that camper? It was her family that Suzanne returned to.
Suzanne's first farm job was at Killdeer Farm in Norwich. When she asked people for information about organic farming and how to get started, people directed her to a guy named Tim. She talked to him on the phone a couple of times and eventually met him. Their first date was when she invited him over to see the bees at the farm she was working at.
Suzanne lives in South Royalton with Tim. They've operated Luna Bleu, an organic farm there, for the past 25 years. They sell their organic vegetables, eggs, beef and pork at various places in the Upper Valley, including the Norwich Farmer's Market and the Co-op Food Stores. Suzanne is 56.
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