Meet the Farmers


The Burkhart-Spiegel family The Burkhart-Spiegel family Asher and the big blue tractor Asher and the big blue tractor Wendy picking chard, Astrid eating chard Wendy picking chard, Astrid eating chard

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 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.  

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.  She has a B.S. in Environmental Conservation from the University of New Hampshire.  

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.  He has a degree in Environmental Conservation from the University of New Hampshire. 

Klara is 10 years old and loves dance, reading and spending time with friends.  Astrid is 7 years old and loves making people laugh and playing in the farm fields.


Alice Alice Packard Packard Lauren Lauren Ethan Ethan

Common Thread Farm Apprentices 2016

Alice Gallagher is ready to learn everything concerning large(r) scale food production and she hopes to take this knowledge and apply it to environmental and food justice work.  She lives with her sweet, energetic pup, Stills.  Talk with her about education, environmental justice, youth development, DIY's and make-up/beauty.




Packard Haynes is a recent graduate from the Science, Technology and Society program at Morrisville State College.  His interest in social and environmental justice issues brought him to Common Thread CSA to build a professional career related to sutstainable agriculture.  In the future, he hopes to create spaces for activist education as well as work towards dismantling the prison system using sustainable agriculture.  Packard practices a strict vegan diet and listens to a lot of underground Hip-Hop and Jazz..  In his free time he reads comic books, really dusty books, watches Star Trek, and wrestles with his favorite kitten (Worf).


Lauren Mettler is a local musician and artist with a foundational passion for sustainability and holistic medicine.  She aims to become educated in the ways of organic farming in order to contribute to a healthy, constructive glocal direction.  As a musician, she has goals to travel and learn about forms of alternative living.  Ultimately, she ahs interest in forming a school for alternative education.  Lauren would like to thank her cat CiCi for her continuing inspiration and support.



Interests in sustainable agriculture and community have led Ethan Piske to Common Thread CSA.  He hopes to continue participating first-hand in the production of clean food and to also teach and write about topics concerning food and community building.  Ethan has studied herbal medicine in the past and continues to do so.  In his spare time he keeps heritage breed chickens, two beehives and an organic vegetable and herb garden.