Originally from New York, Luke considers himself a lifelong farmer whose first major influence was his mother. He started out learning about gardening from growing his own personal consumption crops as a hobby. Luke took farming classes and as his interest grew, he got a job at a local farm while also continuing to scale things up at his own home. At Cabbage Hill Farm, he worked in the aquaponics greenhouse and outdoor fields. There, Luke's knowledge expanded about farming and he realized he wanted to continue to grow in his knowledge. Thanks to various sources, such as YouTube or books, he was able to research and learn anything he did not know.
Eventually, Luke started his own farming business in college, called Saturn's Garden, where he has continued his lifelong joy of growing vegetables and bringing other people good food. Seeing the product reach the end-user has given Luke a more complete understanding of how farmers impact people's lives. It has given him the energy to make sure he does everything to keep better records, monitor quality and make sure all customers are safe and satisfied.
Proudly, Saturn’s Garden grows certified organic produce for the local community, their CSA network, the Beverly Farmer’s Market, and their own friends and family. Saturn’s Garden hopes to increase the availability of local organic foods. As a whole, they think this type of product benefits everyone, from their own farmers to the families and individuals who enjoy the products each day.
Many experiences led Luke to where he is today, but one in particular made him feel confident enough to say to himself “I could actually pull this off” and move forward with his vision. One day in his “launching your business” class at Bentley University, Luke finished a presentation on the early stages of Saturn's Garden. He worked hard to come up with the business steps and hadn't been confident in implementing the start-up yet. The presentation that started off with a lot of nerves but ended up with strong and positive feedback from the Professor. It was then that Luke knew he could do it.
Running the farm is different compared to other work Luke has done, because he is a fundamental aspect in all parts of the business process. If things need to be cleaned, financed, fixed, or planted, Luke is the one to make sure it all gets done. The field work is the most challenging, especially in the summer, but he finds it to be the most rewarding when the products get into the hands of the customers! In Luke's eye, there is nothing better than seeing people smile at their farmer's marker display. Some specialty crops offered include microgreens and seasonal baby leaf salad mixes.
For Luke, the day starts around 7:00 AM with completing any technical work, such as checking social media and emails. Then off to the farm, where he will weed, harvest, or plant, checking out the plants and taking into account any of their needs. Luke primarily cares for each plant individually by hand, as he finds this type of attention for each one helps to pin point their specific needs and grow higher quality produce. Some of Luke's favorite new tools are the jang seeders and some new wire hoes for weeding. He loves working in the setting that he does, because often times there are other farmers around to talk with eachother about techniques and ask each other crop questions.
This year, Luke is most excited about the salad mixes being grown. He spent much of this past winter creating the mixes himself, and has had great feedback so far! Luke selected the crops being grown in order to create a balance between focus and variety, with enough variety to satisfy their CSA customers, but enough volume to also fulfill the farmer's market demand.
Like most small scale farmers, Luke would like to see more people taking a chance to go to the farmer's market to support their local farmers. He knows it can be hard to change normal routines, but he believes all we need is people to give local farmer's a try! “I am sure they won't be disappointed,” he says.
The produce is marketed online via social media, at the Beverly Farmer's Marker, and from word of mouth. Saturn's Garden believes social media is extremely helpful to reach new customers, and allows them to chat about their various vegetables with people, as they always enjoy doing. To follow and get involved, join Saturn's Garden on their social media accounts below.
Website: www.saturnsgarden.com (order our CSA & place farmer’s market pre-orders here)