“I first came to Longacre Farm as a 13-year-old girl growing up in Washington, DC surrounded by lawyers, politicians, and lots of cement sidewalks. I craved a summer of animals, farm work, and learning to drive a tractor and to bale hay. A few life-altering weeks later, I came home transformed into a kid with a hard-charging work ethic, a 360-degree sense of community responsibility, and new skills for expressing my feelings. My mother was most impressed that I came home knowing how to — and wanting to — wash all the dinner dishes for my family, including the pots and pans.
“After that first summer, in some sense I never really left Longacre Farm. I returned to the farm for three additional, transformational summers, and more weekend visits, weddings and reunions than I can count. It’s been over 35 years since then. I’ve lived in Madrid, gone to Harvard and Wharton, survived an early divorce, become the mom to three amazing children, and realized my lifelong dream of becoming a writer. Along the way, the farm has been my second home. I’ve taken the Farm values — hard work, taking responsibility for every glass I dirtied and every tomato I ate, being candid with myself and others — everywhere I’ve gone.
“It’s been especially meaningful to watch my teenaged daughter grow up during her summers at the farm. She left our home that first July as a somewhat cautious, reserved, headstrong child. She came back to us with a striking way with words, along with renewed self-confidence and leadership skills. Plus she washed all the dishes, including the pots and pans, after dinner every night! Now in our discussions about friendships, life’s frustrations, world politics, my daughter often looks at me and says, ‘Mom, that person could really use a summer at Longacre Farm.’ I couldn’t agree more.”
~Leslie Morgan Steiner