For Cassidy Lam, Elkstone Farm represents both the culmination of one journey and the beginning of another. Her arrival at the farm was somewhat fortuitous because her parents’ role as co-managers made the timely transition easy. But in many ways, Cassidy’s whole life prepared her to be Elkstone’s sous chef and gardener. Enveloped by permaculture since childhood, she grew alongside the land, observing the central role food plays in her family’s work and traditions. Feeding people good food was always part of Cassidy’s dream—even her favorite toy reflected this: a satchel of old spices used to elevate her mud pies!
Cassidy started out doing odd jobs—whatever was needed—around the farm and naturally fell into the role of Chef Russell’s apprentice. Growing and working directly with ingredients for farm-to-table meals has taught Cassidy many things. The most important being that nothing happens in isolation—cultivation of food, consumption of food, disposal of waste, care for the land, and care for self—are all inextricably linked. When we lose sight of that, we take worse care of ourselves, our planet, and each other.
There is a season for everything and this has been a season for Cassidy to rejuvenate and prepare for flight. Elkstone and its farm family have been critical to the reinforcement of Cassidy’s health, confidence, and vision for her future. In November she plans to move to Denver, find work in a farm-to-table restaurant, and expand her learning under a chef who also prioritizes locally sourced ingredients. She will put her Elkstone experience to good use by volunteering her time with organizations that promote permaculture and mutual aid when it comes to food.