2016 Farm Team Welcomes Renae!

Brian Stiteler photo
Renae Cairns knew her way around a watering wand even before she arrived at Weavers Way Farm.

This year, we are fortunate to have the majority of our team from 2015 return for another season at Weavers Way Farms. Having experienced staff helps us hit the ground running in the spring, and provides the greatest opportunity to improve as a farm as we build on successes and address problems from the past season. 

However, for a well-balanced team, it is also important to have new ideas and a fresh perspective, and broaden our perspectives as farmers with new coworkers. This year we are thrilled to have Renae Cairns join the team for her first season with Weavers Way Farms. 

by Renae Cairns, Field Assistant, Weavers Way Farms

I came to farming with a deep belief that food has the power to transform our world. Growing up, I constantly donned my rubber boots and followed my dad around in hayfields and on neighbors’ farms—climbing around barns and sneaking around the animals. Although it took many years for me to seriously consider a life in food and farming, it was definitely an influential part of my childhood landscape. 

I went on to study anthropology in college which challenged me to gain a more critical perspective on our current food and agricultural systems which inspired me to begin reaching out to farms and food-related organizations to gain experience in the field. I began by volunteering with the local community garden, farmers’ market, a meals-on-wheels program, and our college farm to begin learning about some of the many agents in our local food system. Later, I began working for Sow Much Good, a nonprofit in Charlotte, NC, working to create a more racially and economically just food system through urban farming and community-based initiatives. With SMG, I helped execute the daily tasks of the farm sites from crop planning and seed propagation to field maintenance, harvesting, and distribution.

After two and a half seasons with SMG, I decided to move closer to my family in upstate New York and spent this past winter working on a small, yet incredibly productive, certified organic, no-till farm in the Catskill Mountain area of New York State. At this farm, I learned a massive amount about what it requires to run a successful, production-focused, for-profit growing operation—even during New York winters!  

Then, I came across the opening for a field assistant at Weavers Way Farms and was beyond excited for the possibility of working for a cooperatively owned business while continuing to work in farming and food systems. 

I firmly believe that centering community, strengthening local economies, working cooperatively, and restoring the environment are all imperative components of a more just and equitable future.As I learn more about the farms and the co-op each and every day, my excitement only grows for all that Weavers Way currently does towards those ends as well as our potential to keep striving for far-reaching, meaningful change. 

For those of you reading this who may be less familiar with Weavers Way Farms, I want y’all to know that the people who comprise the farm team are just as beautiful as the produce that finds its way onto our Co-op shelves, your plates and into your CSA shares. It is through their endless hard work, passion, extensive knowledge  and enthusiasm that we have some of the highest quality and most delicious produce around. It is a privilege to join this team and I am excited to meet more and more of the Weavers Way community around the stores and, hopefully, out at the farms!