TILTH & TIMBER
Founded by Troy and Cindy Dickens, Tilth and Timber is a diversified farm business designed to nourish and service the community through the production of wholesome foods and handcrafted goods. Located in Middleboro, MA, we produce vegetables and herbs for CSA members and local market, hand carved woodenware, natural herbal care, and fiber products. All of our practices are based on the basic principles of sustainable living and land stewardship.
Troy grew up in Rochester, MA, one of the few towns in the area where agriculture was still somewhat prevalent, and often spent weekends at his family's farm in Middleboro. Despite growing up surrounded by agriculture, a future career in farming never seemed a likely option for Troy. Like many kids his age, he had always been encouraged to focus on education, go to college, and get a "good job." But after pursuing a trade in Machine and Tool Technology in high school, then attending Bridgewater State College for a degree in Earth Science and Geology, followed by 9 years of working in the environmental field, something was still missing.
Early on, Troy had been drawn to the ideas of a self sufficient homestead, but often in only little pieces at a time, overshadowed by typical responsibilities everyday life. But as he navigated through his late 20s and into his early 30s, restoring two antique homes, building gardens, growing food, raising chickens, fixing things, and building things, he realized that these were the things he enjoyed doing and had the skills to make a career out of. In an effort to begin transitioning away from his career in the environmental field, Troy spent the majority of his free time working with experienced farmers, builders, crafters, and teachers. Now, thanks to the valuable knowledge and experience shared, Troy is part business owner of Tilth & Timber, where he is lucky enough to grow, build, or fix something every day.
Cindy grew up in Middleboro, MA only a couple miles from the current farm location. But like Troy, she never had any aspirations for farming early on in life. After high school she worked in banking while attending Bridgewater State College for a degree in Finance and Actuarial Science. After several years of working in the insurance industry in various accounting and finance roles, she decided to change her career path. She went back to school and received a Masters degree in education, and proceeded to teach for 4 years as a public elementary school teacher. Although teaching school children was a dramatic change from her previous career, and yielded tremendously rewarding experiences in many of the ways she had hoped, she began to fall in love with growing her own food.
As a school teacher, the summer break gave her the opportunity to spend time working seasonally at a local farm. She had already pursued interests in home gardening and homesteading, but working for an actual farm business gave her a glimpse of what it was like to farm as a career. After being immersed in farm life living, she found it difficult to go back teaching in the fall. Despite how much she loved working with her students, she ultimately decided to transition to farming full time. Now, after spending three years farming full time and learning from multiple reputable farmers in the area, she is part owner of Tilth and Timber, where she gets to put all her valuable experience to work every day.
As Jack Kornfield notes,
"In the end we can see this either as a world where we all eat and are eaten or as a world where we all have an opportunity to feed one another."
Let us rededicate ourselves today to doing all we can to feed one another.