Cory Walker has been farming since he was 16, when he went to work on an organic vegetable farm, Whippoorwill Farm, on Martha’s Vineyard, near where he grew up in southeastern Massachusetts. The farm quickly grew from 30 to 300 CSA members in a half-dozen years, then Cory started his own farming business. The name “Guerrilla Grown” came from that venture. He rented and “borrowed” bits and parcels of land wherever he could find them, sometimes with the connivance of gardeners who allowed him to plow up vacation home lawns to plant his tomatoes. That’s when he started growing the salad mix for which he’s well-known around here.
His girlfriend, Adreana Porteur, came from a family of farmers in the Central Valley of California. In 2006, she talked Cory into moving to Westminster to farm, even though, he says, “I had never even heard of the place and didn’t know it was an agricultural community.”
But Cory didn’t hesitate. He and Ana rented a couple of acres in the village, then a few more in Westminster Station. As Guerilla Grown, they raised and sold more than 50 kinds of vegetables of many varieties at farmers markets and their summer CSA over the next seven years. They now have a four-year old daughter, Estella.
This winter Cory signed on with Harlow Farm as lead grower, in charge of growing crops and, with Alex McCullough, specialty crops for Harlow Farmstand. He would like to expand his salad mix expertise into the farm’s offerings.
Strengthening the community’s food security has always been major goal for Cory. He plans to help build up the Bellows Falls Farmers Market, to maintain Harlow Farm’s reputation in the community, and to work at putting good, organic food into everyone’s hands.
And although ending Guerilla Grown’s CSA felt a little like letting down his long-time customers, he is grateful for their loyalty. “I want to thank them for all their support, especially the summer CSA members,” he said, “ and I hope they’ll come with me to Harlow Farm.”