New Farm Manager: Ian Driscoll

Ian Driscoll, Patterson School Farm Manager

The Patterson School Foundation has chosen a new fulltime Farm Manager to manage the 1400 acre property and to assist with a new Incubator Farmer Program which will begin this spring.

Ian Driscoll is a 2014 graduate of Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC with a major in History and Political Science. He lives and farms in Happy Valley, just three miles from the historic Patterson School campus, and is experienced in many of the necessary aspects of farming – compost production, planting / tending / harvesting crops, greenhouse building, fencing, animal husbandry, swine and poultry production, grazing systems, mowing and operation of farm implements, haymaking, water drainage systems, lumber grading and general farm maintenance.

Explaining why he came to North Carolina from his home in Chicago, Ian said “I moved to North Carolina because I had received a flier from Warren Wilson College and was interested in the area. Although I grew up in Chicago, I did not like the city and was eager to leave. It didn’t take much for me to want to move here after visiting.”

“I had ties to farming growing up through friends and family members; my parents owned an 80 acre farm at one time that we lived on part time. I like to work and provide for myself; farming is hard work and you see your reward with what you grow and eat.”

“Reviving the farm at Patterson School will be good for the community. Working there will be a good opportunity for new and old generations to get involved with the community and learn about farming. I hope that within the first year at Patterson we can develop a successful Incubator Farm Program, and other than that, I would like to hold workshops at Patterson that get the community, especially school children, involved in farming.”

The Incubator Farm Program will invite new and experienced organic farmers to lease up to half an acre to farm at Patterson, with the availability of farm equipment and mentorship, and with access to farm-related workshops through the farming season. Ian can be contacted for more information about the Incubator Farm Program and about raised bed gardening opportunities for children on campus during the growing season at idriscoll41@yahoo.com .