Jen & John
Jen and John Bokaer-Smith met at college at U.C. Berkeley, in Urban Gardening class. It was clear from the beginning that agriculture was in our future! We returned to Jen's hometown of Ithaca after college, and we got married and started the farm. Many of our wedding gifts came from the farming supply company where we registered. (Perplexed guests wrote things like, "I hope you like this dirt squincher," on wedding cards...) After a few years of running the farm while managing the produce section at our local cooperative market, John quit the juggling act and began farming full time in 1995. Jen works off the farm full-time but still helps out at market, with the CSA, and the big-picture farm planning. John continues as the farm's general manager. Nathaniel, who is now a sophomore in college, spent his early summers in a backpack while we were hoeing weeds or washing produce. As a kid he helped out a few days a week—especially with harvesting berries, tending his chickens, and helping at the market stall.
Chris, orchard manager, was born in Chicago and raised in the Driftless Region of rural Southwestern Wisconsin, he majored in Biology and Environmental Studies at Cornell College in Iowa. Chris grew up around apple orchards and started picking apples in high school; he fell in love with the trees and has found himself in an orchard almost every fall for the past 12 years, picking fruit in Wisconsin, New Hampshire and New York. After moving to Ithaca in 2010 Chris became interested in all the aspects of organic fruit cultivation and has since found himself immersed in the world of orchard husbandry. In addition to watching the fruit grow, he enjoys hiking, long-distance biking, cooking and is actively involved in the Ithaca Community Gardens.
Market Host and Field Crew
Ali is our Farmers' Market Manager and also regularly harvests and washes the crops. She recently returned home to Ithaca after spending eight months living in New York City, dabbling in the art industry. In college she was a double major in Art and Geography and through geography courses developed a passion for the local and organic food movement. Ali is back in Ithaca to learn about healthy and sustainable living and to pursue her goal of working on an organic farm.
Lisa, CSA host, grew up in Dryden and has lived in the Ithaca area for most of her life, with a couple of stints on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. She moved back to Ithaca the summer of 2012 and started working at Northstar, alongside her sister. But, she has worked in the restaurant industry for 14 years, both in Ithaca and the VI (locally, The Antlers, Mahogany Grill, Za Za's and Mia) Lisa lives in Fall Creek and is grateful to be so close to work and family. For the past year, she has been studying nutrition online through Hawthorn University in California. For fun (and exercise) she runs, bikes, swims and strength trains.