Jess is a graduate of Cornell University with a degree in Natural Resources. She traveled through the country and Latin America during the college years only to discover that there is no place like home! She also realized that for her, there was no vocation like the family vocation. After stints in conservation biology, ornithology, disaster relief, and development work, Jess realized that she wanted to be the next generation of Niederer farmers and started Chickadee Creek in 2010.
Family-The Niederers have been in Hopewell Valley since 1910, when Otto Niederer (Great-Grandpop) left Switzerland and settled in Titusville. He worked with an embroidery manufacturer in Union City before heading back to the land. Otto, his wife Katherine, and their children ran a dairy farm where Washington Crossing State Park now sits. After losing the farm in the Great Depression era, Otto and progeny invented a machine that graded eggs using a conveyor tipping-scale system and a candler that didn’t hurt the eyes of the workers grading the eggs. Until this, egg farmers were weighing eggs one by one to figure out which grade they were! The Egomatic became the focus of the Niederer family, but farming (eggs, cows, corn, wheat, and soybeans) was an addiction that just wouldn’t go away. Egomatic is gone now, but the family connection to land remains.
- James has been farming since 2012, and has been with Chickadee since 2016
- He is from PA, but spent a few years farming around the country before returning to the East Coast. He’s since settled in locally.
- James loves art (he has a little business crafting needle felted animals), rock climbing, and spending time with his partner, Dan, and their pup, Ludo.
- His favorite vegetable is garlic, because he loves the fact that it is a year-round crop. From planting in the fall, to harvest in late spring, curing through the summer, and cracking seed again in the fall. It’s also his favorite to eat; he firmly believes garlic belongs in every meal!
Scott Van Kuiken: manages our high tunnel production, crew, and ends up doing a lot of our tractor work!
Years Farming: 12
At Chickadee since 2017
Where from: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Hobbies: bicycling, board games (favorite is Agricola)
Studied in School: English Literature
Favorite Crop to Grow: Tomatoes, because of how involved and detailed they are to grow, plus the flavors, shapes, colors, heftiness
Darci (at Princeton and Denville)
Farming at Chickadee since 2017
Where from: Pennington, NJ
Hobbies: cooking, family time, being active
Studied in School: Sports Nutrition
Favorite Crop to Grow: Herbs because they smell great and can be used in anything
- Jeffrey B. Hill has been working on farms in one capacity or another since 2005, here at Chickadee since 2020
- Born and raised in Hopewell Boro, when not farming him and his son Jamie enjoy exploring the local streams, rivers, and woods, and creating all kinds of art. Jeffs favorite pastime is carpentry.
- She has been involved on her family farm her whole life. She started with Chickadee in 2021.
- Her farming goal is to expand her knowledge of crops and marketing as much as possible before starting up her own farm business.
- She is from Iowa City, Iowa.
- When she is not on the farm, Amelia is a lover of houseplants, hiking, and singing.
- Her favorite vegetable is asparagus because it is a vegetable that she grew up growing and really enjoys eating.
Kathryn, known as Kat by her fellow farmers
- She began farming in 2021, and started at CCF in September of that year.
- Her farming goal is to someday have her own farm, where she will grow organic veggies and provide education to children about the importance of organic farming
- She was born in Massachusetts
- Outside of work, Kat loves listening to music and spending quality time with her friends
- Her favorite vegetable is arugula because it’s a flavorful green that can be used in lots of dishes!
- She started farming in 2018
- Her goal is to eventually own a small regenerative farm
- She is from Lawrenceville, NJ
- When she isn’t farming, Catie enjoys caring for her chickens, drinking Dunkin Iced Coffee, crocheting, and discussing her love for New Jersey
- Her favorite vegetable is the Sungold cherry tomato, because they provide a fun little treat during harvest
- Andie Kate is thrilled to experience her first full year farming at Chickadee Creek in 2021!
- She is a native Arkansan
- Andie Kate is passionate about fighting social inequality through food access. Outside of farm life, she is an avid reader, doting cat mother, and fanatical knitter.
- Her favorite vegetable is the humble sweet potato.
- Anna is just starting out on her farming journey in 2021
- Her farming goal is to practice focused farming
- She is from Hamilton, NJ
- When she’s not farming, Anna enjoys mushroom foraging, crafting, and preserving foods
- Her favorite veggie is onion; It has such a complex and sweet flavor. When the mood strikes, she loves taking big bites out of a whole bulb (crazy, I know!)
- Years farming: first year!
- Farm goal: to live fully self-sufficient at some point in my life
- Where are you from: Hamilton, NJ
- Hobbies outside the farm: Foraging for things to eat in the woods (especially mushrooms) and taking photos of nature as I go.
- Favorite Veggie: Garlic, if you can call that a veggie, because you can use every part of it and it’s super good for us!