New farmer Deena Sao

Deena Sao is a student of nursing and education, a Born-Again Christian, and a homeschooler of her four kids. And now, she’s a farmer with the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project. She discovered the NESFP through a simple internet search and “realized how lucky [she] was” when she discovered that the NESFP office was mere blocks from her Lowell home.
Deena enrolled in and completed the Farm Business Course last fall (“a great experience”) due to “several pieces of the puzzle…all coming together.” Because she is passionate about public health and the health and education of her kids, but was also feeling the financial squeeze, she decided to give farming a try.
She considers it a good way to provide for her family in a number of ways. “I fantasize about being wealthy someday” she says, and not having to go out to the farm “even when I’m feeling under the weather.” But still, she is confident that “it will always be part of my life as a passion and as a skill I can pass on to my kids”.
In addition to all the rest of Deena’s busy life, she has managed to post regularly on her blog (first-time-farmer.blogspot.com/2010/07/war-on-weeds.html) since 2005. Recently, it has become her “farm journal”, which documents the peace and the mayhem of her new farming life. She discusses the joy of getting her kids outside with their hands in the dirt, the trials and errors of weeding beets and growing tomatoes from seed, and the recent turkey invasion at Smith Farm, which her quarter-acre has so far managed to escape aside from a few nibbles. The blog is entertaining and honest, and also a clear window into the life of one of our newest New Entry farmers. Check it out when you get a chance, and look forward to Deena’s hard-won produce in your upcoming CSA shares!
-Jeff Hake

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