As we are working hard behind the scenes to get Elk Run Farm up and running, we wanted to tell you all a little bit about ourselves. First up for introduction is Maria Anderson, who is the Farm Manager at Elk Run.
MARIA ANDERSON, FARM MANAGER
Welcome to the farm!
I am Maria Anderson, farm manager, and sustainable agriculture enthusiast.
I am 28 years old (somehow) and I have been farming full time for three years. I worked on a raw goat dairy for a year milking goats, making cheese and delivering kids. It was my introduction to farming, and it was the hardest work I have ever done. I was trained in organic vegetable production by Seattle Tilth Farm Works, in Auburn. The farm incubator there, and the co-farming model that comes out of it has informed the way that I think about farming, and the last thing I want is to be alone in a field growing food forever. Collaboration is the most life-giving and overlooked part of a truly sustainable community.
I adore DIYs, and I love sewing, woodworking, jewelry, leatherwork, and trying new techniques for making things. I have started learning a *tiny* bit about welding and sailing this summer, two skills that I have always wanted to master. I read all the time, mostly non-fiction books about farming and cooking, and historical fantasy to keep it interesting. I listen to music obsessively. You will probably see me working with my headphones in, soaking up folk music primarily, with a smattering of other genres thrown in for good measure. I like yoga, though I don’t do it enough to be very good at it. What I love most is problem-solving, which makes Elk Run the perfect project for me. It is a project of ever-increasing complexity, with challenges and opportunities popping up in a dizzying array all the time.
I grew up in rural Eastern Montana, in a small town two hours from a Target, always wanting my own piece of land someday. It was only after I went to school at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, and got my Pre-Med degree that I seriously entertained the idea of growing food for a living. I made the decision to become a farmer instead of a doctor and I haven’t looked back!
I am new to the world of non-profits, and I am still getting my bearings working with municipalities and utility companies. I have a new-found respect for anyone who gets a project started, or manages to get anything built. It’s hard work! Starting this farm from scratch has been the greatest challenge I have ever tackled, and I am so grateful to have such support and encouragement from everyone that has been involved. I have fantastic teammates, and every new wrinkle, community connection, and opportunity we tackle together makes this project more exciting.