Name: Darby Weaver
Graduation Year: 2010
Degree: Sustainable Agriculture
Current Hometown: Wolcott, Vermont
Employment: Life Arises Farm, High Mowing Organic Seeds, Vermont Compost Company
Can you tell us about your current work?
I own and operate a small biodynamic farm with my husband Elliot Smith in Wolcott, Vermont called Life Arises Farm. We grow vegetables, orchards, herbs, and flowers and sell at local markets, to local restaurants and co-ops, and hope to develop an on-farm stand in the future. We utilize growing designs and techniques that are regenerative to the land in hopes of maintaining ecological integrity in our landscape and fostering holistic nutrient development in our crops.
I am also the Marketing Content Specialist at High Mowing Organic Seeds. I have the amazing job of learning about all of the beautiful varieties offered by this totally organic seed company and sharing their many attributes with growers across the United States.
Lastly, I am currently involved in a project with Karl Hammer of Vermont Compost Company to turn his life’s work into a graphic novel. The book is designed to give insight into the intricate and alchemical magic of creating compost – all tucked into the true story of Karl’s incredible life.
How did Sterling influence your current career path?
Sterling revealed to me that my love for engaging with and studying the Earth and my dedication to nature could turn into a career. Although there is no set track for falling in love with land and making a life out of it, I was given so many tools to go forward and cultivate something different, special, and outside of the obvious. Sterling’s commitment to environmental activism gave me the inspiration to go out and truly be the change I wished to see in the world. Their commitment to community gave me the support I needed when I was struggling and just beginning to confront the ugly truths of our world and what it meant to be a positive influence within it.
What is your most memorable “out in the field” story?
A turning point in my life was when we went to Pete’s Greens with Theresa Snow ’01 to glean vegetables that would be donated to Salvation Farms. Up until that point I hadn’t really figured out that agriculture would be my purpose on this Earth. Knowing that locally grown foods were going to people with limited access made my heart sing and I knew something about growing food for people would be a part of my future. All of the classes and incredible professors, however, brought so much to my life and allowed me to shed old patterns and adopt new perspectives. I am endlessly grateful for all of it.
Any words of wisdom for current Sterling students?
You are so new to who you are and your journey. Stay flexible and allow yourself to open like a bloom in your own time. Soak up every moment in that special place because before you know it, it will be time to go off and make something for yourself. Be open to the hidden wisdom in every person you meet and practice forgiveness daily for those you cross on your path, the individuals lost in practices that destroy the Earth and its people, and most importantly, for yourself. The world needs love more than all other things and if you choose to stand up against injustice in this world, you will need love as a primary source of fuel. Life is a long journey and each step in it is an opportunity to slowly become the person you were always meant to be.