Sep 13, 2021
Respected Vermont organic grower dies
Jonathan Edward Satz, a respected organic grower in Vermont, recently died after a long illness.
The 56-year-old was the owner of Wood’s Market Garden in the town of Brandon, Vermont.
According to an obituary from the family:
Jonathan Edward Satz died on August 25, 2021, following a long illness. Jon was the owner of Wood’s Market Garden in Brandon, VT where he lived and lovingly farmed with his family. Jon was born in Orange, NJ on May 9, 1965. He was the son of David M. and Susan (Steiner) Satz, Jr. He grew up in South Orange, NJ. After graduating the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Jon’s early adult years were a scrapbook of colorful experiences collaged from what he happily would have described as “following the Grateful Dead and enjoying life.” From Breckinridge, CO to Oregon, with many stops in between, he settled down owning Wood’s Market Garden. To talk with Jon or be in his presence, one would never guess that he was one of the most respected farmers in New England. He wasn’t boastful or competitive. As a colleague of Jon’s noted, “He pushed agricultural and technical envelopes in pursuit of ‘better’ without being blinded by ‘best’.” He was amazingly generous, a mentor and friend to so many. Farming and feeding the community were his calling.
An obituary published by the Rutland Herald offered some detail on his journey into organic farming:
He began renting the farmland and learned from neighbors and seed catalogs the basics of what would become his passion — organic vegetable farming. In 1995, he detoured to Vershire to manage the farm at The Mountain School. He longed for a chance to farm for himself again, though, so he returned to western Massachusetts. The challenges of farming on rented land later pushed him to explore other options. He became a NOFA-VT inspector of organic farms and traveled the state of Vermont meeting new farmers and certifying their land. Through his visits, his love of farming grew, along with his love of Vermont, leading him to look for a place he could call his own in the Green Mountain State. In spring 1998, he drove up Route 7 and stumbled upon Wood’s Market Garden in Brandon, which was for sale by owners Bob and Sally Wood. After a few minor roadblocks, he finally purchased the farm in 1999 at the age of 34.