Ben Weinschenk grew up in New Jersey, where he had his first experiences of mild homesteading, as his parents had an extensive garden and followed sustainable practices before it was vogue. He has lived at Tweefontein since 2010, where his contribution has been a full expression of love and kindness. Ben oversees the ordering of seeds for the farm and ensures that all of the plants flourish from germination to harvest. Ben is willing, able and happy to oblige with any task. You can see his passion, talents, and skills when crafting with wood and making logic of finicky machines, as well as nurturing the plants. Ben is also a very talented musician, and fills the house with extraordinary sound whenever he picks up a guitar or banjo.
Steven Crist is a lifelong native of the Hudson Valley and one of the newest members of the Tweefontein collective. He is honored by the opportunity to work in such a magnificent place, and honored to work in chorus with the many intelligent and passionate individuals involved here who share his devotion to Nature, to Tweefontein, and the miracles that spring from her. Prior to his residency, Steven received his Bachelor’s degree from the State University at New Paltz in 2007 with a concentration in English Literature. Soon thereafter, he made the impetuous decision to drop out of his masters program in order to better see a bit of the world. Although it seemed even to him to be an irresponsible move at the time, his wanderlust brought with it a new sense of purpose and fulfillment. It was at this time that Steven was more thoroughly exposed to organic farming, Community Supported Agriculture, and sustainable living practices through the accredited WWOOF program, completing volunteer work in Tortola, British Virgin Islands and in the Sierra Mountains of Camino, California . In Camino, at Sacred Paths Farm, he studied under skilled herbalist Stephanie Sorenson and became fascinated by the simple elegance and potency of her natural remedies. Upon returning to the area in 2010 he became employed at Mother Earth’s Storehouse in Kingston and volunteered with Jacob Diaz at Slow Roots farm Lamontville where he gained even more farm wisdom. When not in the dirt, Steven enjoys creating abstract artwork, laughing, reading a bit of everything, and writing poetry and prose. He has a penchant for philosophy, comparative mythology, Buddhist studies/meditation, and dream analysis. He loves good drink, good company, and the debauchery that come with. His primary goal in life is to promote the idea that we can all be better than “every man or woman for themselves.”
Meghan Kirkpatrick came to the area from the Poconos of Pennsylvania. She studied Geography and Environmental Science at SUNY New Paltz and worked at Mohonk Mountain House for several years. Working at Mohonk and exploring the Shawangunk Mountains are where she developed her passion for the ecology and the unique natural environment of the Hudson Valley. This passion led her to a job at the non-profit organization Scenic Hudson, where she now works doing land protection along the Hudson River. Her work focuses on computer mapping, GPS, and ecological site assessment.
Meghan has increasingly become involved at Tweefontein since 2011 acting as the current farm manager. She finds great inspiration from its land and people. Although her involvement touches many aspects of the farm, she finds particular interest in beekeeping and harvesting our flowers and herbs. She is grateful to be apart of the farm because it is teaching her to live more sustainably and is helping her to develop a closer relationship with the earth.
A.C. Stauble set her roots down with the Twee Family April of 2012 as her farming adventure. Her background is in community organizing beginning at the University of Connecticut and more recently as co-founder of Slash Root Technology Collective. While uniting and caring for people comes naturally for AC, plants are somewhat mystifying to her. She is thrilled to be furthering her study of medicinal and nourishing herbs and plants. AC has sustained her thirst for community organizing by applying for local markets, fairs, and festivals for Twee to participate in and by planning events at the farm to share the magic of Twee. AC is also responsible for many of the hand crafted signs and product information sheets displayed at market. She has also taken on some of the administrative tasks at the farm regarding records and finances. When not working on the farm, AC can be found at the New Paltz Karate Academy, doing flying yoga, sitting on babies, cooking dank meals for friends, howling at the moon, or exploring far away lands.
AnnMarie Tedeschi considers New Paltz her home base, having spent most of her last 14 years in the Hudson Valley between her travels. She attended SUNY New Paltz for undergrad, finishing with a BFA in photography and a minor in journalism. A few years later, AnnMarie decided to further pursue her long-time passion for natural medicine and became certified as an herbalist at the Dandelion School of Herbs on the northern coast of California. Soon after, she started a line of teas and herbal products called Infinite Roots and has been offering custom made remedies and free herbal consultations. She moved to Tweefontein in January of 2012 as the resident herbalist. Her mission for the farm is to help create a line of tinctures and to explore the medicinal uses of the various herbs grown at the farm. AnnMarie enjoys organic alchemy of all kinds, whether it is in the sense of herbal medicine or in the creation of art, music, or cooking. Mysteriously known as “The Cat Whisperer,” cats have always been drawn to her and the house cats at Tweefontein currently battle over her room. She is excited to be part of the Tweefontein community.
At the age of nineteen Christine O’Loughin read a book called This Common Land by Scott Chaskey and fell in love with the idea of Community Supported Agriculture. She moved to New Paltz and graduated with a degree in Women’s Studies and Environmental Studies. Since 2006 Christine has worked on farms including a CSA and two family owned operations. She is thrilled to have Tweefontein as her current home and work on such a beautiful place with a strong farm community. The prospect of learning more about medicinal herbs is particularly exciting for her. Christine is Tweefontein’s resident soap maker, designing the varieties and hand crafting each batch. Christine is passionate about Women’s Health and is pursuing her education to be a licensed midwife. Christine likes to hike, climb, and is learning to play the banjo. She is joined at Twee with her dog Draighe and her cat Picasso.
Tyler Nichols came to live at Tweefontein in 2009 through a chance visit to the farm in which he immediately fell for the charms of the land. He is the current Sustainable Living Project Manager at the farm. Through organizing recycling, compost, and waste materials he effectively manages the waste stream at Twee. He also ensures the passive solar dehydrator, shower, and rain water catchment system are functioning well in order to save resources. Tyler is actively involved in the sustainability efforts in the community. He works with the Zero Waste Initiative, a nationally based program that chose New Paltz to be one of twelve communities across the country to act as a model in sustainability that other towns can potentially emulate. Tyler contributes greatly to maintaining the land at Twee, focusing the regeneration of old perennials, especially the vibrant rose bushes originally planted by Tweefontein Founder, Ann Soloman. Tyler also works at Benmarl Winery in Marlborough, NY. He is an avid snowboarder and has spent several seasons riding the Rockies in Big Sky, Montana.
Chrisso Babcock grew up in the rambling rurals of Woodstock NY. After thoroughly enjoying three semesters of college, love and adventure reared its head and he never returned. After a stint of adventuring across the states, he settled for a season in Vermont, where he did a season apprenticeship with fierce homesteader Penelope Newcomb of The Egg Farm, where he learned discipline and the joy of physical labor, along with many sub-skills like gardening, butchering, fermenting, goating and cheesing. Combining his interests in radical politics and homesteading he founded The Fertile Minds Collective in Saugerties the following year, where at its height 12 people lived and learned with no leaders, no electricity, 3 goats and a large garden. More traveling and another season of farming as a work coordinator for the daring Jim Beatrice of Cody Creek Farm honed his skills and reaffirmed his connection with the Hudson Valley. Chrisso is excited to be starting at Twee Fontein, and in the area again, where besides being a Twee Bird, he is a committed son-bro-uncle, does odd landscaping jobs, and teaches workshops on homesteading skills.