From participating in volunteer shifts cutting alliums at the College Farm, to owning a farm herself. Lauren Bruns has grown as a farmer since she graduated from Dickinson in 2013!
At Dickinson, Lauren studied Environmental Science and got involved with the farm by volunteering on weekend shifts. On her first weekend shift she spent her time cutting onions and other alliums for the farm’s salsa. Lauren remembers quickly making friends with the other farmers as the onions made them all cry together. She was then a student farmer from her sophomore year on until she graduated.
After graduation, Lauren stayed at the College Farm for another season as an apprentice. Of all the time she spent working at the farm, one of her fondest memories happened during a summer right before a big storm. She was out to lunch with Matt, Jenn, and the farm crew and they all came up with a plan on the spot on to finish processing the garlic so that the onions could be harvested and stored before the storm. Back at the farm that evening she recalls Matt using the solar wheeler (a solar powered golf cart) to power a projector to watch a movie so they could continue to tie up garlic into the night.
The connections and skills Lauren gained while working at the College Farm have been useful in every job she has taken on since her time as an apprentice. “I took the solid foundation of skills that Matt and Jenn taught me and I jumped into each opportunity without hesitation and eager to learn all there is to learn.” After her apprenticeship ended, the connections she made in the Carlisle farming community led her to go on to work at a flower farm, a few vegetable and greenhouse operations, and eventually a Christmas tree farm in Western Massachusetts. After being exposed to many different types of farming, she decided to start her own farm.
In 2018 Lauren landed back in her home state of Maine and started her own operation called Lost & Found Farm on land that she currently leases. At Lauren’s farm they grow certified organic seedlings, cut flowers, and Maine Wild Blueberries, which they sell at two farmers markets and a local food co-op. She plans to keep growing her farm as a sustainable business and one day get her own land.
Lauren is extremely grateful for all of the connections and experiences she had in Pennsylvania that have gotten her to where she is now as the owner of a farm. She loves the Dickinson College Farm and remembers it fondly, so she strives build a similar environment of community and integrate education into her own farm today.