Connecting to Your Community with Caroline Fanning
Caroline Fanning grew in on suburban Long Island, NY, and spent her summers hanging out and working at the beach. She moved upstate for college, where there were no beaches but plenty of farms. Her first farm job was at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project, a 7-acre vegetable farm where she learned the CSA model and where she met Dan Holmes, who would later become her business partner and husband.
After graduating from Vassar College in 2004, she landed a nonprofit job in Manhattan, but one year later, she was eager to get back outdoors. By that time, Dan had taken a head grower position in Amityville, Caroline’s hometown, and invited her to join him. She accepted.
After one season working together at Amityville, Caroline and Dan were on the lookout for other opportunities. Coincidentally, in 2007, Nassau County issued an RFP for the creation of an organic farm at one its county parks. Caroline and Dan submitted a bid and won.
Over the next fifteen years, they modeled their farm—Restoration Farm— on the Poughkeepsie Farm Project. The five-acre operation now produces vegetables, berries, flowers, and herbs for 120 CSA members. Its onsite farm stand is open three days a week during the growing season and every other weekend throughout the winter. The farm hosts student tours, volunteer opportunities, and small-scale events, and prides itself on providing meaningful, commercial-free opportunities to engage with nature on public land.
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