Meet the Farmers


Wendy and Asher Wendy and Asher Asher on the tractor Asher on the tractor Astrid with broccoli as big as her head Astrid with broccoli as big as her head Asher, Klara and Astrid at the Hamilton Market Asher, Klara and Astrid at the Hamilton Market Packard Packard

Wendy and Asher Burkhart-Spiegel purchased Common Thread Farm in 2012 from Chris Babis and Amy Brown, who established Common Thread Community Farm in 2008.   Wendy and Asher and their daughters Klara and Astrid are excited to be in Central New York, operating a farm that is open to the community and helping to increase availability of fresh, local, sustainably grown produce in the region.  Wendy and Asher were the farm managers at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project from 2003-2012.   At the PFP, they have managed a 400 member CSA and contributed to education and food justice programs that work towards a just and sustainable food system.  Before the PFP, they managed a CSA in Madbury, NH for two growing seasons while finishing their degrees in Environmental Conservation at the University of New Hampshire.

Wendy grew up on a dairy farm in New Hampshire and has farmed and gardened in a variety of settings since, including a pick-your-own strawberry farm, a garden center, pecan orchards in Georgia, a homestead in Maine, a public flower garden, a 10 acre organic vegetable farm, and in the gardens of herbalist mentors.  

Asher grew up in suburban Philadelphia and was pursuing a sociology degree when the organic garden at the community where he was completing a civil rights related internship caught his attention.  He has worked on farms ever since, primarily in vegetable production although he has tried his hand at pruning apples, milking cows, and university based agricultural research. 

Klara is 11 years old and loves dance, reading and spending time with friends.  Astrid is 8 years old and loves making people laugh and playing in the farm fields.


Packard Haynes is a mentor and crew leader at the farm. He has been here for several years and is hoping to reconnect with his families history in agriculuture. He is a graduate from Morrisville State College with a Bachelor's in Science, Technology, and Society studies. His interest in social and environmental justice brought him here to Common Thread Farm to build a deeper relationship with his community by providing wholesome produce and contributing to an educational space for aspiring farmers. He is dedicated to making produce affordable and accessble, maintaining and caring for the land and local ecosystems, and using his knowledge of food production to aid in the deconstruction of Capitalism.


Farm Crew

John John Miah Miah


John Bonsted is here for a second season as an apprentice at Common Thread.  John says, "With so much to do and to experience, the farm is a great place to learn and work every day.  I'm loving all the things to do and the beautiful places to go in Madison County."



Miah Mendoza lives in Rome but grew up on Martha's Vineyard where her passion for farming and the outdoors began around 8 years old.  Her mom managed a greenhouse on Morning Glory Farm and she went with her to work daily.  Miah says, "It feels very natural to be here at Common Thread.  I'm very excited to learn as much as possible while enjoying every minute."