Hello Samantha!

Hi! My name is Samantha Harris. I am the new operations manager at Harvest Hastings. I will certainly get to know more about not just what you do, but who you are and how I can support all of our endeavours in this great region.

To get the conversation started, I will go ahead and share a little about myself. I’m the owner of Our Neighbours’ Farm, which was rooted in 2018, and has helped cultivate a loyal and supportive community that every first-generation farmer needs in order to be successful. This month makes 4 years since the very first time I woke up in my farmhouse in Thomasburg. The property has a history in growing garlic and carrying that tradition is page one of my farming story.

Everything I have learned about this industry has been through experience, right here in Hastings County. My prior work experience was in community-based childcare, which fostered a respect for the power of patience, observation, resilience and constant adaptation. After over a decade of facilitating an environment for play-based learning, I was keen to keep exploring the world with a curious mind, open heart and sometimes dirty hands.

On my homestead, I grow a variety of foods in my no-till garden. I raise a variety of free-range birds and small herd of dairy goats. I’ve even taken on the adventure of raising hogs. In the winter months, I love to hike the property with my chow chow Winston. Indoors I can usually be found in my loom room, weaving on my 60” loom with my black cat Baby Cake close by.

Outside of my work and homestead hobbies, I enjoy spending time in Tweed and the surrounding area, meeting new people – usually through food – the best way to a person’s heart (and home) is through their stomach. I have been the branch President for the Chapman Women’s Institute of Ontario for most of this year; in this space, I’ve found new friends and a love of community history.

I pull my seat up to the table of small business owners and I bring my sense of community over competition, a pot of joy that we can all feast on. To quote one of my favourite lyrical geniuses from the matrimonial album EVERYTHING IS LOVE, “Over here we measure success by how many people successful next to you. Here we say you’re broke if everybody is broke except for you.” Jay-Z

Have questions for Samantha? Get in touch with her at [email protected]

Goodbye Karen!

In February 2021, I began my journey with Harvest Hastings. It’s been such a pleasure to get to know you all and help to promote farming and forestry in Hastings County. Our members, board of directors, partners and community supporters have been welcoming, supportive and full of great ideas! I recently accepted a full-time job with my local Chamber of Commerce so I can continue my work in supporting small business and promoting the “buy local” movement. It’s bitter-sweet to say farewell to this wonderful community organization but I am so excited to see Samantha take the reins! Best wishes to all and thanks so much for this amazing opportunity! ~ Karen Stille

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