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Volunteer Farm gets new manager

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

WOODSTOCK -- When he takes over as manager of the Volunteer Farm on Monday, John "Corey" Hunsdon will combine two great loves -- farming and feeding people.

Hunsdon will replace former farm manager Steve Bushong, who left the operation in the fall after three years, said Bob Blair, CEO of both the Woodstock Volunteer Farm and its counterpart in Culpeper, as well as their parent organization, the World Foundation for Children.

Food grown on the farm goes to the Blue Ridge Food Area Food Bank and the Capital Area Food Bank.

"He's got all the experience and knowledge that we need," Blair said. "He's spent a lot of time training college interns. He has a lot of experience with drip irrigation. We've been investing a lot of time and money in an irrigation system here."

The farm just installed 5,000 feet of pipe and 15 hydrants, he said.

"We're committed to go in that direction and he's the one that can do it," Blair said.

The Virginia Water Well Association paid for the digging of a well-fed drip irrigation system at the Woodstock farm. The well was dug in September. The farm had been using a pond for irrigation.

Hunsdon, 59, bought his first farm when he was 17, he said in a phone interview Wednesday. He said he operated a farm in Arizona for 30 years before coming to the East Coast and working in the construction industry.

He spent the past three years as the farm manager at the Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville in Buckingham.

"I'm excited because first-off, I love the looks of the Shenandoah Valley," Hunsdon said.
"I love the idea of feeding the hungry. I love to work. I love to fix things. I love to farm and I love to think that we're feeding people."

Blair said the Volunteer Farm is in the process of ordering fruit trees and berry bushes for both farms. The one in Culpeper will have 2,500 plantings, while the Woodstock operation will get 7,500 thanks to several grants, he said.

"I think it will go a long way towards improving the nutrition we provide," Blair said.

He said volunteers are needed to harvest a crop of turnips and cabbage.

Besides volunteers, the farm always needs donations, Blair said. For more information, visit www.volunteerfarm.org.

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