What Inspires You?

Holly Ameden, Land’s Sake Board Presidentnwsltr_May11_grazingtendrils

For me, the answer begins with my family. Watching my three sons, twin eight-year-olds and a five-year-old, go out in the world with their curiosity and energy to experience new things and meet new people – this inspires me. I see their energy in action at Land’s Sake as they go on school field trips and use their five senses, as we pick up our weekly CSA share at the farm and roam the flower field, and as we learn what ripe tomatillos look like in the “pick your own” fields. The boys climb the trees, visit the rabbits and chickens, and tell me about the herbs and vegetables growing in the educational garden. When I pick them up from a February vacation program at Land’s Sake, the boys tell me how they collected sap, how maple trees work, and how syrup is made. This spring, I can’t wait to hear what they have to say when I pick them up from their “Afterschool Explorers” program.

Teaching the children

Seeing the dedication and spirit of the Land’s Sake staff, the patience they show in answering my sons’ myriad questions, and the awareness of the world they’ve awakened in my sons – this inspires me. Knowing that my sons’ Land’s Sake experiences will shape their perspectives as they grow up and leave Weston and become thoughtful, informed citizens and leaders of their future communities, mindful of the impact of their choices on our environment and broader community – this inspires me.

Thinking about how the Land’s Sake farm staff work over 20 acres of cultivated land in five separate locations in Weston, growing more than 120,000 pounds of chemical-free produce last year, enriching our community every day – this inspires me.

Working with the Land’s Sake Board, a dynamic group of individuals with different perspectives that come together in their passion for Land’s Sake and speak with one strong voice – this inspires me.

And Alyson Muzila, long-time Land’s Sake Board member and generator of so many positive changes at Land’s Sake in the past few years, inspires me too. Alyson introduced me to Land’s Sake and got me involved, and I will forever be thanking her.

During my first month serving on the Land’s Sake Board in May 2011, Alyson, then Board President, posted a blog on “The heart, and soul, of Weston.” Her thoughts move me as much today, if not more, than they did two years ago. I share a portion of them with you here and ask – what inspires you?

The heart, and soul, of Weston  (May, 2011)

Alyson Muzila, (Former) Board President

Land’s Sake is one of the greatest things about Weston.  I have long believed this since ‘discovering’ it during my third year as a Weston resident. Driving by the farm one warm May day, I decided to enter the long driveway to poke around  and see what the wooden farm stand, and the fields, were all about. A tall, thin man with a long beard was there, hoeing a field. It was a wonderful sight for my Wyoming-raised eyes that ached for familiar scenes of farmers working their fields.

“Hi. Do you work here?” I asked, naively.

“Sort of,” the man answered, with a bit of a grin.

Little did I know that I had just met Brian Donahue, a co-founder of Land’s Sake, an internationally known academic and a champion of suburban farming and forestry programs, of which Land’s Sake was a national model.

And little did I know that Land’s Sake would forever change my life.

Now, eight years later, I am honored to serve as Board Chair of this great organization and to work for the Land’s Sake community.  As a mom, a customer, and a volunteer, I can attest to the many impacts that this land, and the people who work on and for it, have made on my family. Whether it’s stopping by the farmstand on a steamy July day for fresh basil and carrots for dinner, or watching my children frolic in the farm and forests that Land’s Sake staff help maintain, the memories we’ve made are fresh and powerful. I have grown attached to this part of our town in a way that I never expected.

Land’s Sake is a place, a model of sustainability, a community of dedicated citizens that value open space, working landscapes, and community involvement. It is a source of healthy local food, a proud steward of forests, an inspirational teacher to children and adults. It is a board of leaders and a hardworking, talented staff, it is the tired hands of volunteers that give of their time, and the smiles of children that depart their buses and discover where their food comes from. Land’s Sake is all of this, and much more…. (more)