Located in the "quiet corner" of Connecticut, Assawaga Farm is a small, diversified vegetable farm specializing in Japanese varieties of vegetables and herbs.
The word "assawaga", meaning "place between" or "halfway place", is the original Nipmuc name for the river now commonly known as the Fivemile. Being embraced by the Assawaga River to the west and the Mary Brown Brook to the east, Assawaga Farm is quite literally the "place between", with the confluence of the waterways promoting a wealth of fertility and biodiversity.
We purchased raw land in June of 2016 and since then we have built a barn/house and greenhouse, drilled a well, put in a driveway and turned a decades old hayfield into a productive farm! We take great care in producing high quality, nutritious vegetables for our customers.
Yoko took the long winded road to finding her passion in farming. Originally from Japan, she lived and worked in countries all over the world until she decided to move to NYC in 2012 to pursue a Masters degree in Environmental Sustainability.
Meanwhile, in her Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedstuy, she joined a charming little community garden - a haven amidst the rows and rows of brownstones - that really harnessed the meaning of "community." There she began to discover the wonders of growing vegetables.
It wasn't long before she began applying for apprenticeships on organic vegetable farms outside of the city. She could not have been luckier finding Riverbank Farm, working alongside veteran farmers Laura and Dave. Little did she know when she started, that she would fall in love with farming and start her own farm!
A generation removed from agricultural roots, Alex's love for nature and dreams of starting a farm were cultivated from a young age. Some of his fondest childhood memories revolve around time spent chasing insects and getting lost among the seemingly enormous tomato vines in his parents' and neighbors' gardens.
Though the tomato vines may not seem quite as massive today as they did back then, their legacy along with the magic and complexity of life represented in those gardens led Alex to pursue studies in life sciences, always with heavy botanical tendencies.
Prior to finishing school with a degree in human ecology, Alex spent several years backpacking around the world, and it was during those travels that he developed an acute awareness and interest in agriculture and food systems.
His dream of growing clean, sustainable food as his life's work remained a dream until he met Yoko. The passions they share for food, community, and sustainability made that dream a viable, tangible reality and led to the foundation of Assawaga Farm.
We are Certified Organic by the Baystate Certifiers. For decades our fields were used for hay so there has been no application of chemicals for as far back as we can trace the history of this land.
Using organic practices or being organic certified means we use natural processes and materials to grow our crops while promoting ecological balance and preserving biodiversity.
However, we are committed above and beyond the guidelines for organic certification. We strive to minimize the use of fossil fuels and short term uses of its derivatives, such as plastic. We will initially rely on specialized and reputable vendors to obtain such things as compost, potting mix and seeds but we envision doing part of the work in the future (such as making our own compost, saving our own seeds) to reduce our ecological footprint and encourage as much resource recycling as possible on the farm.
We believe in creating and maintaining fertility from within our farm as much as possible, through cover crops, compost, vermicompost, extracts, and natural mulches. We are stewards of the land and as such we strive to keep the land productive for many future generations to come.