Devon Van Noble, Owner
People often ask, “How did you get into farming?”. “Did you grow up on a farm in New York?”. The answer is plainly, “Not at all.” I grew up in the suburbs of Clearwater, Florida, spending most of my youth fishing in Tampa Bay, and playing street hockey and paintball in our neighborhood. Along with my two best friends, Bud and Jeff, I was surrounded by a tight-knit network of families on our street who were the foundation of my childhood. My parents always made sure that I was outside either playing sports, fishing, hunting, or camping– but I only made it to the Northeast on the occasional road trip or family visit.
When I came to Ithaca in 2003, I had no idea that I would come to call this place my home. I fell in love with the campus, the gorges, the hiking and biking, and most of all, the seasons. Coming from Florida, I had never experienced hibernation, or prepping for winter, or the joy that spring and summer brings to the community when the weather lifts! Experiencing this cycle and seeing the way people learn to move with the seasons, was a deeply moving experience for me. Even though I was not involved in farming during the first few years in New York, I felt the connection that people here have with each other and with the earth, in a way that I never had in Florida.
In 2012 I was hired at for a part time position at The Piggery Farm, helping with sorting and loading pigs for market and taking care of chores a few days a week. The first thing I noticed working there was that I thrived when I had time to be outside and use my body. Which is still, to this day, one of the things I appreciate most about farm work. In addition, my job at The Piggery reminded me how much I love working with animals and it seems to come naturally. I enjoy making sure that all the elements of their lives are in order so that they are comfortable and healthy. The most delicate part of the raising hogs, farrowing new litters, is also some of the most exciting and gratifying work I get to do on the farm. I feel blessed to have found a lifestyle that I love, and I feel proud about the work I do with our hogs, but I am a greenhorn in so many ways– learning the hard way.
I am continually grateful to the many farmers and mentors who have taught me and supported me over the years. Thanks to you all!
Paul Jensen, 2016 – 2017
Paul grew up in Binghamton, New York and came to Ithaca for school in 2009. Just before graduating from Ithaca College, Paul started working at Early Morning Farm in Genoa, where he got his farming “degree” by helping to grow around 1000 CSA shares for 4 years.
After having worked with Paul for a little while now, I can tell you, he is someone who wants to do the job the right way and likes to be very meticulous. He has been a huge addition to the Farm, and with his help we are managing to grow the herd without feeling stressed out.
Paul is an awesome musician, and I think he plays like 13 instruments.. He has a passion for nurturing plants, and anyone who knows him will tell you, he is the nicest guy in the world.