Blog

Tim Curry the Farmer behind Fire for Effect Farms

Profile
Farms for the Future
November 16, 2020

Tim Curry is new to farming, but eager to share the outdoor lifestyle with other veterans like himself. For the past two years, Tim has been leasing farmland from the Trust through our Farms for the Future Initiative at the Agricultural Center at Charnews Farm. You might have seen Tim’s acres while passing by the Ag Center, his fields sit at the front of the farmland facing Horton Ave. He has distinguished his plot from others by placing an American flag out front. Tim says the flag is a welcome reminder to him as to why he’s out there. 

block.image[0].title

Photo by Tim Curry

When Tim returned home from Afghanistan, he acutely felt the loss of his fellow infantrymen. No longer a part of a team and dealing with issues that many veterans experience when returning home, he looked for help. He made his way to the Northport VA Medical Center and was able to connect with many fellow veterans there. His own experience with the VA and sorting out access to resources drove him to want to help his fellow veterans. He spends a lot of his time helping veterans access the resources they need, whether it’s driving them to appointments at the VA, connecting with Suffolk Community College to get veterans in school, or helping veterans get the disability rating they deserve. He has helped about 20 veterans get their disability rating which provides them with well-deserved benefits.

Farming has also become a big part of Tim’s mission. Tim became interested in agriculture after he came home from the VA Medical Center. While he was recovering, he spent time growing radishes. Once he started giving away the radishes, he couldn’t believe how happy people could become over a simple radish. Seeing the joy that agriculture could bring to others led him to reach out to the Peconic Land Trust to lease farmland and start Fire for Effect Farms. Being a novice to farming, Tim said he is so thankful to the Trust selection team and Dan Heston, Director of Agricultural Programs, and Jessie Marcus, Stewardship Manager, for giving him a chance.

block.image[0].title

Photo by Tim Curry

Wanting to share the feeling of peacefulness he feels out in the field, Tim is helping other veterans learn how to farm and encouraging them to get outside. This year he had about 20 veterans, mostly from the Vietnam War, helping him throughout the season. Due to COVID-19, he couldn’t have as many people help as he would have liked. Still, he has more than doubled the number from his first growing season, where in 2019 he had 9 veterans helping out over the season. Looking to 2021, he is hoping to hire his first paid staff member.

What happens to all the produce that Fire for Effect Farms harvests? This season 1,200 pounds of produce were donated to veterans and neighbors! Tim felt especially grateful to be able to donate food this year as the community was impacted by COVID-19. Next season, Tim would like to set up a farm stand where he can sell his produce. The stand would also provide job opportunities for veterans.

Looking ahead, Tim is hoping to start a peer group for returning combat veterans. His 10 year plan includes owning his own farmstead with a place to house veterans. In the more immediate future he is looking forward to purchasing a new tractor and growing more broccoli, which he had great success with this season.

To learn more about Fire for Effect Farms please visit their website. Tim is always available to talk to other veterans, day or night if they need help.

×
Support the Peconic Land Trust
Peconic Land Trust needs your support to protect the working farms, natural lands, and heritage of Long Island.