Originally a city boy, Justin was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA where he studied and worked in print design and web development until 2009. Looking for a change, he decided to pursue his passion for draft horses. This brought Justin to Palmer, Massachusetts where he co-founded Blue Star Equiculture, a draft horse sanctuary and organic farm. Here, through years of training and caring for homeless drafts—Justin found his true calling… farming! While teaching courses in the art of draft-horsemanship at UMass Amherst, Justin met Nell. With her background in vegetable production, Nell and Justin have spent their years together teaching each other their trades… and finally, the fruits of their labor: Ironwood Farm!
A native Mainer, Nell grew up in Eliot (she is aware this is dangerously close to Massachusetts). After trying her hand at a few different food-related disciplines, Nell graduated with a degree in Plant Soil and Insect Sciences in 2011. Certain she was destined for agricultural education, Nell found work at the Hartsbrook School in Hadley, MA teaching “Agricultural Arts”. Almost immediately, she realized that trying to impart the value of the agricultural life she’d never really lived rang a little hollow… she needed to get on a farm! Nell found Misty Brook Farm in their last year in Massachusetts. She and Justin climbed on board and moved to Albion! After three years at Misty Brook, Nell and Justin bought a farm, and POOF… Ironwood Farm is born.