Farmers

 Our farm crew is made up of local community members who share an interest in growing food that is healthy for people, the environment, and the local economy. The farm crew is led by Chuck Currie. Learn more about our farmers below!

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Chuck Currie

Chuck studied biochemistry and chemistry for two years at UMass Amherst before taking a sustainable agriculture course, visiting a small farm run by someone not much older than him, and instantly realizing he had wanted to be a farmer his entire life. After completing a B.S. in Plant, Soil, and Insect Science in 2005, he worked at Red Fire Farm in Granby, MA for three years before starting his own farm in Vermont. After four years farming in Vermont, Chuck moved back to Southeastern Massachusetts with the goal of providing equal access to good food in more urban communities, and to be closer to family and friends. He started Freedom Food Farm in 2012 on leased land in Johnston, RI and began leasing the farm in Raynham, MA in 2014. 

Favorite farm products: Bacon and snapdragons.

Book/film recommendations: Joel Salatin’s Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal, The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball, Farmageddon, The Real Dirt on Farmer John and To Make A Farm.

Best part of farming: Is eating like a king and sleeping like a baby

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Douglas Higley

Doug studied at Johnson and Wales university in Rhode Island for a bachelors degree in culinary arts and leadership from 2007- 2011. He has been cooking in a professional kitchen for 10 years, and has kept close relationships with the farmers providing the food that makes cooking possible. He was most recently the sous chef at New Rivers restaurant in Providence, and is now deciding to see the other side of cooking and restaurants, the back bone of eating, the most important part, farming. In the summer Doug works one day a week with Plum Point Oysters harvesting and sorting oysters for delivery to local restaurants. He also has a strong passion and often forages for vegetables, herbs, and mushrooms around the New England area. Doug manages the vegetable production at Freedom Food Farm.

Favorite farm products- pickles, tomatoes, and kale

Book/film recommendation- Samuel Thayer’s “a forager’s harvest”

Best part of farming- being outside and not in a kitchen during the best weather months

 

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PatRick Jernigan

Patrick was born in Buffalo, New York in a predominantly Italian family, where food and family where of the utmost importance. Patrick started farming at age 12, and fell in love with anything and everything pertaining to food. He later moved to Providence, Rhode Island and acquired an Associates degree in culinary arts at Johnson and Wales University. He pursued a career in the restaurant industry working in several different establishments, fine tuning his culinary skills. Patrick went back to his roots of farming to expand on his knowledge of food and joined Freedom Food Farm in April 2015. He currently is the wholesale manager and helps with general farm tasks.

Favorite Farm Products: Chili Peppers and Tomatoes (Esp. Green Tiger cherry)

Books on Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee

Best Part of Farming: Being able to cook, eat, and share the most flavorful and healthy produce.

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Marie Kaziunas

Marie helps with retail operations, farm management, livestock care, and medicinal herb growing. She loves taking a photograph, natural dying, cooking and writing. She writes the farm newsletter, takes all the farm photos and designed our website. Her background is in anthropology, ethics and public health focusing on health disparities in underserved and marginalized populations. She also has been a part of several food focused social justice projects and sustainable communities before joining the Freedom Food Farm family.

Favorite farm products:
spring – garlic scapes & nettles
summer – lemon balm & cucumbers
fall – ginger & romanesco
winter – celeriac & kabocha squash

Book/film recommendations: ‘The Unsettling of America’ by Wendell Berry

Best part of farming: Being a part of a farm is an incredibly grounding and humbling experience. It has really helped me understand the impact of growing real food and why we need to support our farmers. Food brings people together and there is nothing like farm vegetables & herbs straight from the earth to inspire a shared meal.

You can follow Marie's posts about the farm on Instagram