Chuck grew up far from the land and wandered around in exile until 1995 when, fleeing a desk job in Boston, he apprenticed for a year at Caretaker Farm in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Caretaker was one of the first organic farms and one of the first CSAs in the U.S., and by the time the harvest was over, Chuck was smitten. In 1999, Chuck and his wife Sue purchased Sunrise Farm, and in 2000, he started Sunrise Farm CSA with his brother Bruce (who has since gone on to start Picadilly Farm in Winchester, New Hampshire, with his wife Jenny.)
In 2012, Chuck dropped the last of his other day jobs and took up farming at Sunrise full-time. Since then, the CSA has expanded to 200 members and the farm produces chicken, lamb, maple syrup, honey, and firewood and lumber. In 2015, Chuck and Sue purchased an additional property near Sunrise to continue growing the farm and brought in Jennica Stetler and Sayer Palmer as partners.
Though Sunrise continues to grow and thrive, Chuck has maintained a variety of other interests, including as a freelancer for Northern Woodlands magazine in Corinth, Vermont; as a freelancer for the Valley News in Lebanon, New Hampshire; as the editor of The Outside Story: local writers explore the nature of New Hampshire and Vermont (Northern Woodlands, 2007); and the author of Living With Sheep (Lyons Press, 2005) and Living with Pigs (Lyons Press, 2008.) On the side, Chuck is an advisor to Valley Food & Farm.
Hadley grew up outside of Cambridge MA, and as a child she was deeply curious about the world, its systems, and how they work. After a brief foray into realm of computers and startups, she found her calling in farming— a discipline comprised of systems challenging to both the mind and the back. Hadley has worked on farms ranging from .5 to 25 acres, growing vegetables and flowers, working with chickens for both meat and eggs, as well as caring for the occasional friendly goat. In Louisville Hadley ran her own market garden and CSA, and though she misses the bluegrass, she is excited to be here in the green mountain state.
Jennica spent her summers in college working close to home on Goose Creek Farm in St George, Vermont. There she learned to indulge in warm melons in the field and endless tomato sandwiches. She went on to run her own small CSA in West Bolton, manage two vegetable farms in Chittenden county, and get her hands dirty on many other farms while learning the trade. Jennica is consistently honored by the lessons on farming and life that she has received from the revolving crew of people she has worked next to over the years. Following a sojourn to Oregon, she looked up from seeding a flat of broccoli to find herself in the beautiful Upper Valley of Vermont where she plans to stay. At Sunrise, Jennica is the head vegetable farmer, responsible for both the summer CSA operation and the winter greens production.
Alex grew up in the Upper Valley, where he developed a strong appreciation for the outdoors. After moving out to California and graduating from UC Santa Cruz, he worked as a vendor for a local Santa Cruz bakery at various Bay Area farmers' markets, eventually moving onto a Market Manager position for the Pacific Farmers' Market Association. The years spent chatting with farmers planted a seed of interest, which finally grew into fruition a few years later upon his return to New Hampshire, where he began working as a farm hand, first at Tracie's Community Farm in Fitzwilliam, NH, then at Picadilly Farm in winchester NH. Eventually he decided to move back to the Upper Valley and has been working at Sunrise Farm for the past year.
Sayer was raised on a small homestead in St. Albans, Vermont, with Hereford cows, big brown goats, vegetable gardens, and a beekeeper for a father. This may sound idyllic but for her it was everyday life and largely ignored in favor of studying violin and viola. Sayer left Vermont for school, travel, and adventure, and eventually found herself working in the music library at Juilliard. In response to a stationary desk job, she dabbled in urban agriculture. Carrots sprouted under grow lights on her dresser. Subway commutes were spent knitting and reading about sheep. Raw milk was purchased on the black market to be turned into cheese in her kitchen. Finally, after 10 years away, Sayer decided to move back to Vermont. She spent a season at Jericho Settlers’ Farm and then managed a 250-ewe sheep farm in Corinth, VT. Now settled at Sunrise, Sayer oversees the livestock.
John was born in Plattsburgh, NY and went to Green Mountain College, where he got an unused degree in Sociology/Anthropology. After spending some time on the west coast, he got into farming and has been working on numerous organic farms for the last 7 years on both coasts. Mainly vegetables, but also dabbling in chickens, cows, and sugaring. John and his fiancee recently took a growing season off to hike the Appalachian Trail. He's looking forward to learning more about raising sheep and hopes to start his own farm one day soon.