Nestled in the small Hampshire County town of Cummington, Massachusetts is Two Mamas Farm, known for their organic maple products.
Owners Sarah and Lee describe their farm as “queer in many ways.” In addition to being LGBTQIA-owned, Sarah and Lee say the farm’s queerness also extends to the challenging and unique things produced on the farm and the rainbow-encompassing perspective they bring to their products and community.
Producer Dave Fraser brings us their story.
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Read the full transcript:
Zydalis Bauer, Connecting Point: Two Mamas Farm is nestled in the town of Cummington, where owners Sarah and Lee describe their farm as “queer in many ways.” Queer not only in the nature of LGBTQIA, but also in the challenging and unique things they produce and the rainbow encompassing perspective they bring to their products and community.
Producer Dave Fraser brings us their story.
Sarah, Two Mamas Farm: I have always been attracted to farming. I grew up in Northampton, though I was born here in Cummington, and I always wanted to be a farmer, you know? I love animals, I love tending life and I was really into permaculture and just like growing local food and trying to, like, reinvent economies.
And…so here we are.
Lee, Two Mamas Farm: Farming, sort of…spoke to me in some way. I sort of came alongside it in this way, you know, that people do. You meet somebody who has a farm and start coming by.
And my interest in farming and dairying, and at that time I was in undergraduate school and was writing poetry and there was something really beautiful about the rhythm of dairying. And I met Sarah at an organic farming conference about dairying.
And so, we connected!
Sarah: Were Two Mamas Farm. We’re located in Cummington, Massachusetts. We’re like halfway between Northampton and Pittsfield, and we are a queer-run maple farm.
Lee: Queer in identity, you know, I — Sarah and I both identify as queer.
And we also queer things, as sort of a verb. So, like, I think the way that we approach the world, the way we approach farming and parenting is queer. It’s different than other people may do things.
Sarah: I’ve always joked to Lee that like, in the first five things about me, I used to never say that I’m gay. Like that just never made — it wasn’t the most important thing.
And, you know, in the last really since, you know, Trump and whatever’s going on in the country, suddenly like my privilege at growing up in Northampton and, like, being gay is really coming back up there because we’re in a place that we can be.
Sarah: I love Pride. I think that it’s a lovely and necessary sort of tribute to our community. I think that there’s a lot of joy and celebration, which we don’t get a lot of.
It’s also important for me to remember, and I think this is part of how I celebrate Pride is, in remembering and honoring its roots as a real — as a — as a riot, as a rebellion, as an act of…sort of fighting back against oppression.
And part of the way that I think that I like to celebrate and honor pride is in making sure that we’re sort of still rooted in that and not just getting excited about the rainbows, but really realizing, like how we are on this planet in order to make things better.
Maple sugaring is our prime enterprise at this juncture. I like maple syrup. It’s one of the few sweeteners that I can eat with my illnesses. So, it’s exciting to have such high quality pure organic maple syrup, and I know exactly where it comes from.
Sarah: So, the tap goes in the tree, there it goes. Your sap comes down into your lateral line. I love the symbiotic nature of maple farming and that, you know, we get to harvest sap from the trees as they grow and we kind of tend the forest and, you know, help the maple babies grow and keep diversity going. And I’m hoping this can be a regenerative livelihood.
And, you know, farming is endlessly creative. I feel like when people think of farmers, they think of like Iowa corn farmers and that it’s just this very mechanized thing. And, you know, I love it.
I love the artistry of maple. I love that every single batch we make tastes a little bit different. You know, I love the creativity and the engineering that goes into designing the sap line systems. It’s — it’s great. And the skills my kids can get from it, it’s just exciting that they’re going to get to grow up with that.