Karen Parker Feld

Karen has returned to her roots in agriculture, and is taking Crows’ Feat back to its roots as a working farm. Before making a name for herself as an investor, Karen earned a Ph.D. at the Food Research Institute at Stanford. She went on to study the technology and farming practices associated with an improved variety of beans in Nigeria. What she found surprised her, and the scientists at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan. It’s not enough to have a seed that performs brilliantly under controlled conditions – as a sole crop, sustained with heavy application of fertilizers and pesticides. Rather, one must look at the entirety of the farming system – the interaction between crops in the field, the cost and availability of key inputs, and the uses of farming residue – in order to determine what constitutes an “improvement” in the eyes and lives of farmers. Karen came to understand the meaning of permaculture, without having ever heard the term.

The challenge of providing sufficient and nourishing food for our society has assumed new urgency as a result of climate change, especially the widening drought and loss of topsoil that are ravaging the agricultural heartlands of the rural Midwest and California. Karen believes that the sustainable cultivation of arable lands in the eastern and northern United States is vitally important to the survival of our people and communities. It is based on that belief that she and Peter are restoring these lands as a regenerative farm along permaculture lines. Their hope is to develop Crows’ Feat in collaboration with area farmers and community groups as a cooperative farm that sustains our soils and our souls.

Karen Parker Feld

After traversing the world – and the worlds of economics and finance – Karen has returned to her roots in agriculture, and is taking Crows’ Feat back to its roots as a working farm. Before making a name for herself as an investor, Karen earned a Ph.D. at the Food Research Institute (with a minor in economics) at Stanford. She went on to study the technology and farming practices associated with an improved variety of beans in Nigeria. What she found surprised her, and the scientists at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan. It’s not enough to have a seed that performs brilliantly under controlled conditions – as a sole crop, sustianed with heavy application of fertilizers and pesticides. Rather, one must look at the entirety of the farming system – the interaction between crops in the field, the cost and availability of key inputs, and the uses of farming residue – in order to determine what constitutes an “improvement” in the eyes and lives of farmers. Karen came to understand the meaning of permaculture, without having ever heard the term.

The challenge of providing sufficient and nourishing food for our society has assumed new urgency as a result of climate change, especially the widening drought and the loss of topsoil that are ravaging the agricultural heartlands of the rural Midwest and California. Karen believes that the sustainable cultivation of arable lands in the east and northern United States is vitally important to the survival of our people and communities. It is based on that belief that she and Peter are restoring Crows’ Feat as a regenerative farm along permaculture lines. Their hope is to develop Crows’ Feat in collaboration with area farmers and community groups as a cooperative farm that sustains our soils and our souls.

Peter Freeman

Peter is a self-taught and talented carpenter, builder and mechanic. As a dyslexic boy who struggled to read – at a time when educators had little understanding of the condition, and even fewer ways to navigate its challenges – Peter became adept at learning through careful observation and practice. He turned his dyslexia to his advantage, becoming more attentive and adept in seeking and overcoming challenges than most people. He started his own construction business at the age of 30, and managed it successfully for 25 years. Along the way he built a loyal clientele who appreciate his skill, integrity, and craftsmanship. As Karen is proud of saying, everyone loves Peter. He has a knack for making friends and building trust – along with just about anything else!

A talented photographer, lover of nature, and someone who chafes at being indoors, it’s been Peter’s lifelong dream to become a farmer. It is a dream that he and Karen are fulfilling together with the cultivation of Crows’ Feat and the community it nurtures.

Peter Freeman

Peter is a self-taught and talented carpenter, builder and mechanic. As a dyslexic boy who struggled to read – at a time when educators had little understanding of the condition, and even fewer ways to navigate its challenges – Peter became adept at learning through careful observation and practice. He turned his dyslexia to his advantage, becoming more attentive and adept in seeking and overcoming challenges than most people. He started his own construction business at the age of 30, and managed it successfully for 25 years. Along the way he built a loyal clientele who appreciate his skill, integrity, and craftsmanship. As Karen is proud of saying, everyone loves Peter. He has a knack for making friends and building trust – along with just about anything else!

A talented photographer, lover of nature, and someone who chafes at being indoors, it’s been Peter’s lifelong dream to become a farmer. It is a dream that he and Karen are fulfilling together with the cultivation of Crows’ Feat and the community it nurtures.

Scott Cloutier & Anna Maria Quagliata

Scott is a New Hampshire native who has spent countless hours in New England forests and gardens. He is a professor in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University and has a PhD in Biological and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University. He has been studying the links between sustainability and happiness for 15 years and knows we must reconnect with our food systems and sources to find sustainable happiness. He is a veteran, a father to four children, and husband to his wife, Anna.

Scott’s intellectual work focuses on practices that simultaneously regenerate natural systems and human happiness, while honoring our spiritual connection and service to the land. His practical work integrates permaculture, indigenous farming methods, natural building, regenerative development, intuitive development, and spiritual growth. He has worked with and beside small-scale producers ranging from dairy farmers to foresters to local mom-and-pop vegetable stands in New England. He has also collaborated or learned from farmers all over the United States, in South America, Europe, the Navajo Nation, and beyond. With an open heart, open mind, and deep humility, Scott strives to be of service to all beings while continuing to learn, emulate, and support the abundant natural patterns that surround us.

Anna Maria is a health practitioner, wellness coach, herbalist, mother and loving human who has been honored to provide service to youth, families, women and organizations for over 25 years.  She brings a wealth of insight and practical experience in developing collaborative partnerships aimed at improving the world.  She is eager to support Crows’ Feat Farm’s mission of cultivating community, connection to the land, and service to society.  Raised in New York, Anna Maria learned to cultivate the land, grow and use medicinal herbs, and formally studied psychology and nutrition.  She received the gift of learning traditional Italian healing modalitites by sitting council with her elder family in Sicily.  With great passion she continues to learn daily and offer service as a counselor, mentor, teacher, coach, fundraiser, community advocate, yoga teacher and medicine woman in the nonprofit sphere.  Anna Maria finds pure happiness ona farm, being active, playing with her four kids, cooking and walking beside her husband Scott.

Terry O'Brien

Terry is the owner of Hungry Heart Farm, a small, diversified, culinary-focused vegetable farm in Kingston, NH. Originally from New Jersey, Terry made his way to New England to work for his wife’s family’s farm, Canaan Farm in Wenham, MA. Terry was impressed with the extensive local food community that existed in both the North Shore and Seacoast regions, and spent the next 4 years honing his skills at Heron Pond Farm before starting his own. 

Terry is passionate about building healthy soils, growing quality food, and transforming that food into healthy and delicious meals and other products. Terry hopes to introduce and encourage more local food, especially vegetables, into people’s homes. He also hopes to show people the environmental implications of their food choices, and how eating local food can minimize your impact on the environment. 

Jordan Keating

Jordan is partnering with Crows’ Feat Farm to develop a fruit and nut tree orchard, which will feature chestnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pawpaw, persimmons and peaches.  The orchard will be planted on terraces that follow the natural contours of Rolling Ridge, supported by swales to gather rainwater and promote soil fertility. 

Jordan and his wife Marina manage Sokoki Falls Farm, a homestead, nursery, ecological landscaping service, and budding forest garden nestled in southeastern Vermont. They believe that perennial food, medicine, and indigenous resource crops are the key to a verdant future. Theyt use no chemical pesticides or fertilizers, and their farm is almost entirely human powered.

Jordan is a passionate ecologist, forager, and farmer with deep roots in New England. He received a B.A. in Regenerative Agriculture and Food Systems from Sterling College.