Quail Hill Farm
A Note from Scott Chaskey: A Secret Revealed
Here is a secret revealed. Seven years ago, when I served on the Board of Sylvester Manor, Shelter Island, I was part of the team that interviewed an eager, young candidate for the Farm Manager position, one Layton Guenther, fresh from the Sustainable Agriculture course at Santa Cruz.
I sensed a kindred spirit, a lover of the music of the soil. I was patient and proper in my role; when another candidate was chosen for that Manor job I invited Layton to apply for a similar position at Quail Hill Farm. A number of us at the Trust saw the process through, weighed the questions and answers, and we invited Layton to join us in the fields in 2013. We have worked together in the fields for 6 years and counting, and I know that most of you are familiar with the transition, but still, isn’t it kind and just to WELCOME! Layton to the role of Director of Quail Hill Farm.
As I retire to my study (that is an active role for a writer), and to travel and to speak up for the beliefs that have motivated my work here for 30 years I contemplate the words of John Hay: “To what useful end could I use my eyes without acknowledging that they are only one of the earth’s inexhaustible ways of seeing?” In my time at Quail Hill I hope I have lived up to the legacy of Deborah Light (who gave us this land): a love of the Earth and of words that inspire others—habits and qualities that also motivate Layton.
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