The Farmers

So who is behind Pen and Pepper Farm?

Patrick and Tracy Gabridge, and our kids, Kira and Noah

We’ve been growing gardens for almost 20 years, in just about every place we’ve ever lived, from herbs under grow lights high in the mountains of Colorado, to strips of beans and basil in the landscaping of our tiny little house in Illinois.  Since moving to Boston in 2000, we’ve been gardening much more seriously, trying to grow as much food as possible for our growing family. Though we’ve been in a Brookline condo with no yard for the past six years, we’ve still managed to grow three gardens (at once), in a Roxbury community garden, a Brookline shared backyard garden, and the 200 Foot Garden project.

Through all of our years of gardening, our imaginations have been jolted by countless books and articles about the farming life.  We dream of owning a piece of land where we can have a small farm and experiment with the thousand different ideas that have caught spark in us. Now, through the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, we’re able to take a big step forward in making those dreams a reality.

In addition to learning how to farm and sell healthy and delicious vegetables on a larger scale, our hope is to meet new people at farmer’s markets and engage in fun conversations about food and farming. To encourage this, we’ll have a small library at our market stand, with some of our favorite titles over the years.

Patrick is a graduate of BNAN’s Master Urban Gardener program and served several years as coordinator of the E.L. Cooper and Crite Community Gardens in Roxbury.  He’s also a writer of novels, stage plays, radio plays, and screenplays.  He’s even written a few plays about gardening and farming.  You can read more about his writing at and The Writing Life x3 blog.

Tracy is a former electrical engineer who left the corporate world to become a librarian.  She’s currently the Head of Liaisons for Departments, Labs, and Centers for the MIT libraries.  When she’s not at work or farming, you might expect to see her with knitting needles in her hands.

(As you can see, we’re book people.  Having a mini-library at our farm stand suits us perfectly.)

pat and tracy in 2009

Patrick and Tracy, Pen and Pepper Farmers (and book people)

Kira and Noah Gabridge at our very first JP Farmer’s Market in 2012



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