Staff

Learn about the people staffing the Broadened Horizons Organic Farm.
Hawk Myczack (Farm Staff Member -emeritus)

Our elder son was raised living a simple and primitively sustainable existence in stone, log, and thatch constructed lodges in the hills and hollows of Wilson and DeKalb Counties of Tennessee. He learned to fish and hunt at a very early age, and was fully involved in the growing and foraging of our family's food supply by age 10. He learned to plow and cultivate using horse drawn equipment.

Growing on to become a skilled woodworker by his early twenties, his construction skills, strong work ethic, and physical labor were a major contribution to the resurrection of the house, barns, and sheds of our farm. His help and dedication were key in our ability to fulfill our dream of creating an energy efficient, low overhead cost (expense-less), demonstration and organic teaching farm.

Although Hawk is no longer a live-in resident at the farm, his frequent working visits, numerous special farm projects, and his ongoing dedication to the success of the Broadened Horizons Teaching Farm mission kept him involved as a full-time staff member.

When the teaching farm moved from Rockwood, TN to Floyd County, VA in late 2013, Hawk and his family also departed Tennessee and headed to Whidby Island in Puget Sound. There he is working with his brother, who has a small farm and a CSA program.

Linda Haas (farm assistant)

Linda Haas is our homesteader neighbor from a mile down our county road here in Floyd County. She joined our staff in the spring of 2016. A long time milk-share customer, who also attended numerous skill share sessions held at our farm, she readily agreed to take over milk processing duties and chicken husbandry during Cielo's recovery / rehabilitation after her second hip surgery this past spring.

She was instrumental in prepping and planting this year's summer gardens, harvesting our wheat crop, and is currently helping in the construction projects underway at the farm. She has spread a lot of paint on both interior and exterior walls, and made the farm buildings literally shine.

 

 

Bio undergoing editing

Mechelle Kneidinger (2011 Intern)


Mechelle earned her BA in Environmental Sociology at the
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, along with two minors in French and Africana Studies.

Music and environmental activism are the two major interests that direct her along her life's path.
She has pursued her musical interest beginning in the fifth grade playing a trumpet, and branching out to play guitar and hand drums.. She has been a student of nature since birth, finding a natural affinity with the rythms and cycles of the natural world.

Her first experience farming was as a WWOOF volunteer on a North Carolina farm where she fell in love with the art of growing food. She further pursued this agricultural interest as a volunteer at the Beardsley Community Farm in Knoxville and interning at the UT Market Garden, both experiences that have helped her grow experientially and to learn more about sustainable agriculture.

Mechelle's belief that food and our methods of growing it have a profound and fundamental affect on our lives and the environment in which we live, has guided her activist outreach endeavors, as she feels we can only improve the system if we work together. She has joined the staff of the Broadened Horizons Organic Farm as she sees our endeavors as an excellent step in that direction.

Mechelle is responsible for our student outreach program at UT-Knoxville, and coordinates farm volunteer days, speaks to interested student groups on campus, and is the organizer and contact person for our twice-annual Farm Fest events.

 "When I arrived at the Broadened Horizons Organic Farm in mid-May 2011, I was fresh out of school and looking for something more, something authentic and encouraging. Well, I was lucky enough to find it at the Broadened Horizons Organic (teaching) Farm .

As the 2011 intern, I began learning skills right away, from building / construction techniques to effective communication skills and I quickly became "part of the family" with Leaf, Cielo, Hawk, and their loved ones. We grew as a community together, and I had the privilege of inviting others to see the farm and be a part of that something more. Now, with 7 months worth of new practical knowledge in farming and a refreshed passion for life and sustainable community living, I'm excited to move forward and share with others what I've learned from two earth-conscious mentors."

 

 

Leaf Myczack

Leaf has had a lifelong curiosity, attraction, and intimate involvement with both soil and water. Equally drawn to both elements, his unorthodox life has been a seamless blending of sustainable organic gardening / farming and wooden boat building. For nearly sixteen years, he and his wife Cielo, directed a grassroots environmental watchdog organization named the Tennessee RiverKeeper Project. Monitoring water quality conditions of numerous southeast rivers from aboard their self-built 30 foot wood composite ketch, Leaf became well versed in the hydrologic cycle, and the critical role of biologically healthy watersheds. His role as the  water resource manager for the farm also positions him as the primary instructor for our rainwater collection workshops. His nearly 50 years of organic gardening have given him the empirical background to be a knowledgeable teacher of exemplary earth stewardship. Among his many talents, he is also a master upcycler who fabricates and welds together our farm equipment, and builds environmentally sound structures. His hands and thoughts are never far from the water and soil of our farm. When not farming, building, or working with the land, he keeps our website active and updated.

Cielo Sand Hodson

Cielo's life and loves are deeply rooted in the Earth. As an Indiana child she experienced a special kinship with the natural world of trees, lakes, sand dunes, and the wildflower meadow behind her childhood home. Using various art forms to express her understanding of the living, dynamic Earth, Cielo has become a notable artist who captures the essence of life itself. As an outspoken advocate for the natural world, she helped pioneer both a grassroots citizen water protection organization (BH RiverKeeper), and a forest advocacy movement in the deep South called the Dogwood Alliance.

Her family's organic teaching farm is a fitting next step after a hard-won, but rich and satisfying life of activism. Cielo remains inspired by the intrinsic life force pervading our land and brings a "cup half-full" perspective to our work to transform and restore the viability of this small family farm. She brings a dedication and work ethic that motivates her to arise before the sun every day to tend to our naturally raised chicken flock and her family's needs and well-being. Her skill as a photographer can be viewed on the Farm Greeting Card page.