Higher Ground Farm is the fruit of a seed planted years ago. Courtney and John met their first week of college at the University of Vermont and became fast friends. “Soul-mates” of a sort, they followed similar academic tracks in college – both majoring in Environmental Studies in the College of Agricultural Life Sciences, and similar social paths, becoming apartment-mates their first year after graduation. When Courtney moved to the Boston area, and John moved to Portland, Oregon their paths continued to parallel from afar. They each found themselves working in food and agriculture – as sustainabilty advocates, as farm managers, and as restaurant employees. John’s return to the east coast brought the two together again. With experience under their belts, and with the backing of a network of players in the local restaurant and agriculture communities, John and Courtney have found their paths realigned with the concept of Higher Ground Farm. Higher Ground has deep roots in the soil of a long friendship that has been amended by years of professional experience, and fertilized by a community of supporters. Follow Higher Ground on Facebook & Twitter to see how the farm grows.
Courtney Hennessey, Founding Farmer, has spent the last decade on a journey from farm to table. After earning a BS in Environmental Studies from University of Vermont she transplanted herself to Boston where she worked for The Food Project for four seasons. There, she honed her abilities as a farmer, developing skills for crop planning, commercial scale farming , greenhouse management and CSA marketing. Courtney also spent a season as the CSA manager at Ol’ Turtle CSA in Easthampton, MA. Her love of food eventually led her to restaurants where she has spent the last six years as a server, bartender, bar manger and general manager, developing her knowledge in cocktails, wine, staff education and small business management. Never losing her green thumb, Courtney managed Toro Restaurant’s community garden plot, volunteered with The Food Project and the Mission Hill School Garden, and participated in the Master Urban Gardener course in 2011.
John Stoddard, Founding Farmer, is an environmentalist and food lover, and has focused his career on promoting sustainable food systems. In addition to running Higher Ground Farm, John is a Healthy Food in Health Care Coordinator for the non-profit organization, Health Care Without Harm and works throughout New England on facilitating local and sustainable food procurement for health care institutions. John began his career in the waste reduction field, working with institutions and municipalities to decrease their landfill bound waste, and moved to environmental health work, addressing toxics in the environment. He earned his Master of Science from Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition specializing in the Agriculture, Food, and Environment program. John hopes Higher Ground Farm’s addition to the local food market will increase access to fresh, healthy food in Boston, and contribute to the overall sustainability of the food system.