Seva Water first got into farming during a gap-year in Perryville, Arkansas living in agricultural community. After several seasons of weaving education for social justice and ecological sensibility along with farming internships in Gettysburg and Biglerville, PA she returned to Western Massachusetts to find a home place to dig in. In 2012 she began learning from and working with refugee and immigrant farmers growing food for their families and local markets in Greater Springfield and Worcester, providing technical assistance and co-managing an aggregated community supported agriculture program. She also began submersing herself in locally-abundant expertise and enthusiasm around ecological agriculture, agroforestry, and permaculture, and connecting it to anti-racism and food justice work. Her meanderings brought her to the 2014 Northeast Permaculture Convergence in Unity, Maine, where she met Kalyan…
Kalyan Water is a collector of skills and a dreamer, looking for ways to live lighter and help regenerate this planet. With a very alternative upbringing focused on food and spirituality, Kalyan embodies a desire to give not just people but all things the respect that life deserves. His thirst to holistically understand the world and its people has accompanied him throughout his life and the many different places he has lived and traveled. In previous incarnations, Kalyan has worked as a carpenter, massage therapist, bookseller, cook, arborist, and animal husband, among others, choosing to be schooled through life experience rather than books or experts. The hilltowns of western Massachusetts have been long been his grounding place and it is a pleasure to finally come home to Cummington with Seva.
Nutwood Farm is located on 7 acres at the edge of Hampshire and Berkshire counties in the hills of Cummington, MA on land that was formally stewarded by the Muh-he-con-neok (“People of the Waters that are never still”) or Mohicans. Other nearby indigenous peoples included the Pocumtuk, Nonotuck, and Abenaki. Before colonization, these hills were rich with culture, abundant wildlife, ancient woodlands, medicinal plants, and thick topsoil.
Today, 250 years after white settlers arrived in what they believed to be an empty wilderness, old stone walls mark the boundaries of old pastures and crop fields and tall pines cover once denuded hills. The soil now is thin and stony with gently sloping contours that are ideal for regenerative agriculture. Our fragment of this landscape was last used as a christmas tree farm that was cleared and left for regrowth sometime in the mid-1990’s. Fifteen years later it grew into a diverse array of young trees, wild brambles, hawthorns, blueberries, elderberries, serviceberries, crabapples, and more, and became home to a wide variety of migratory songbirds and native wildlife. In our work to reimagine the possibilities in this place we seek to honor the all intricacies of ecological mutuality at play and maintain this place as a refuge and habitat for the widest possible diversity – including us!