meet the farmers

Dan has lived much of his life around biodynamic communities, both from his early years in South Australia, and moving to New York working on and apprenticing under numerous farms. Dan began to realize for himself, after desiring a more direct connection to what nourishes himself and others, that there is no art more beautiful or important right now than growing food, and designing effective and low impact systems of living from and supplying healthy, organic vegetables. Dan studied regenerative community design at Goddard College in VT, has managed a community garden project in low-income areas of Detroit, and has focused his masonry skills by working on transformational social sculpture with mentor and teacher Johannes Matthiessen throughout the world. He has also studied tracking and primitive skills in VT and holds a certificate in Permaculture Design. Through his studies and interests in associative economics, social-threefolding and peer-lead learning models, Dan seeks to continue learning through farming and working with others.


Tess has been working in community for several years leading up to her involvement with Common Hands. Growing up in New Hampshire, she began to imagine all the ways she did not want her Soul to be taken from her by growing up. She did not realize that this path was not solitary until she first lived in an intentional community during her years at Wesleyan University in CT. There, for two years, she was the live-in manager of a student Buddhist community of 18 individuals. In this role, she discovered the balance of building interpersonal relationships with the solitude of self-discovery, as well as hosting several retreats, workshops, lectures and concerts. She helped welcome a variety of spiritual teachers and performers, of all tradition such as Tibetan, Zen, Shambhala and Secular. While in school, she deepened her studies of writing, and focused on poetry and dance. Other experiences living in community since then have opened her eyes to the resourcefulness and willfulness of the generation around her. For two summers she worked at the New York Open Center, a school for holistic education in the city. After working at an independent publishing company, she decided to leave the Big Apple behind and devote herself to the poetry and prose of gardening, and of listening to the world around her. She is interested to continue to study herbal medicine, healing, and other ways of serving those around her.