Apprentice and Intern Testimonials
Testimonials from former apprentices and interns:
Working at Common Thread CSA with Wendy and Asher created a standard of hard work and farming excellence for me. Their openness to teaching and new ideas, their incredible ability to problem solve and attend to all of the details, and their extreme dedication and engagement in the community have influenced me and given me a strong foundation to continue to grow and share food in a sustainable and conscientious manner. There is a lot of respect for this farm in the community, and that was clear to me during my interactions with CSA members and devoted farm stand customers. Wendy and Asher's hard work and purposefulness will serve as an inspiration for me in my future endeavors.
Ellie, Common Thread Apprentice 2017
After completing a two-year college program in Fruit and Vegetable Crops, I came to Common Thread Farm to apprentice under Wendy and Asher, and I'm certain that I learned far more at this farm than in the classroom! Asher and Wendy have put careful thought and decades of experience into creating a farm and a yearly group of workers, both apprentices and others, who are interdependent—the farm needing its workers for completion of daily labor during the growing season, and the workers needing the farm to help teach them as they learn to tend land, care for plants, and feed people. Priorities are balanced in the way the farm is run: profit and efficiency are worked for so that the farm can continue to thrive and support those who care for it, while excess food is donated to where there is local need, and education is given generously to the next generation of farmers. While I was at Common Thread, I received a real boost from the atmosphere and opportunities there. I was able to make a fair wage and live locally while learning on the job, and I built friendships with fellow apprentices as we drove out to visit other farms on educational field trips. Now, as I have taken on more managerial farm roles elsewhere since my apprenticeship, I carry with me memories of Wendy and Asher's management style and kind manner of relating to people. I also remember Asher's insistence on workers knowing the exact names of the tools they used!
-Sophia Urusova, Apprentice, 2014 and 2015.
Farming with Wendy and Asher for a full season was one of the most educational experiences of my life. Even at the height of the season, they make sure to find time for your questions and give thorough explanations for the different work to be done on the farm. They are two incredible and sincere farmers, who willingly impart their wealths of knowledges and years of experience on subjects that range from CSA business planning, to medicinal herbs, cover crop management, and hundreds more!
-Julia, 7-month apprentice 2012
Wendy and Asher are patient, gracious, and always willing to help young farmers learn new skills. I learned a great amount about farming under their supervision, and always felt like I was contributing to worthwhile work because they were along side me and gave the task context. Their passion and love for farming is truly contagious and their demeanor is peaceful and focused. I was inspired to work with this well-coordinated team that has great communication and doesn't mind get their hands dirty. Ask plenty of questions because there are years of experience and knowledge to tap into.
Summer Intern, 2011
My two seasons working with Asher and Wendy were critical in my development as a farmer and manager. I came in with a list of skills I wanted to learn, and they were intentional about helping me meet my goals. Apprentices were part of the day to day planning which gave me a solid base in priority setting, as well as crew and task management. I had the opportunity to do a lot of tractor work, cover cropping, and mange the greenhouse. I had increased responsibilities my second season and was able to build on my skills and understanding of farm systems from one year to the next. Asher and Wendy have continued to mentor me as I moved into a management role on a different farm -- I literally do not know where I would be without them!
USCS CASFS 2009
Apprentice, Poughkeepsie Farm Project (with Asher and Wendy) 2010-2011
Farm Manager, Rock Steady Farm
The two seasons I worked with Asher and Wendy, first as an intern then an assistant manager, were incalculably valuable to my farming education. They are extremely smart and communicative growers, and they were supportive to my learning objectives as well. After two years with them I felt very ready to manage my own farm. They're amazing. I can't recommend them enough.
UCSC CASFS 2008
PFP with Asher and Wendy 2009-10
Farm Manager at The Greening of Detroit and Keep Growing Detroit 2011-13
Fresh Cut Flower Farm Detroit