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Nick Lapham and Gardiner Lapham
After six years co-managing The Farm at Sunnyside, Stacey Carlberg and Casey Gustowarow are leaving us and Rappahannock County at the end of this month. In a normal, non-COVID world, we would send them off properly with an in-person gathering honoring the many friendships they’ve cultivated and contributions they’ve made during their tenure here.
As a poor substitute, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank them publicly for everything they’ve done for both the farm and the larger Rappahannock community.
At Sunnyside, they’ve had a tremendous impact — running a consistently profitable organic vegetable operation; hiring, training and mentoring a remarkable cadre of farm staff; and implementing a comprehensive and rigorous set of regenerative agricultural practices that have improved the soil, enhanced biodiversity and reduced the farm’s carbon footprint.
They have achieved all this through some exceptionally difficult times, including 2018 which brought more than double our average rainfall and of course this year when they literally had to reinvent the business on account of COVID.
Throughout, they have led the farm with integrity, professionalism, humility and a work ethic that would be difficult to overstate.
Stacey and Casey’s imprint, however, stretches well beyond Sunnyside and into myriad corners of the county.
They created “industry night” as a way of bringing together and strengthening ties among those involved in the food and agriculture sectors here.
They were central to launching and running the Sperryville Farmers’ Market.
They have been longstanding and prodigious contributors to the Rappahannock Food Pantry.
And with other Rappahannock businesses such as Pen Druid and Bean Hollow Grassfed, they regularly organized special events to showcase and celebrate local food and community.
Stacey and Casey built a model of success befitting Rappahannock’s rich and evolving agricultural legacy that we hope may inspire others. We are deeply sad to see them go and invite all of you who have enjoyed Sunnyside produce over these past years or otherwise benefitted from their presence to join us in wishing them well.
The writers are owners of The Farm at Sunnyside.