Snapshot: Jennifer Gaskins
Occupation: I have two. During the weekdays, I focus on corporate sustainability reporting for PepsiCo. On the weekends, I enjoy getting my hands dirty as one of two farmers at our home business of 12 years called Farming 101. We’re a small, certified organic farm, specializing in heirloom tomatoes and fresh cut flowers. My husband and I both have grandfathers who were farmers, so farming is kind of in our veins.
Family: My husband, Trout, and I have been together for 21 incredible years. My sister, Nancy, and her family live in Chicago. My brother, Eric, and his family live in Atlanta. My mom, Jane, lives in Katonah, N.Y., which is where I was raised.
Pets: We share our home with two sibling rescue cats from the Newtown Animal Shelter named Ringer and Georgia. I saw their picture in The Newtown Bee ten years ago and got them at an adoption event going on at Your Healthy Pet when they were six months old. We also have a rooster named Kazoo that got his name after the way he crows. He survived an attack by a hawk, so now he lives the resort life and is the best he’s been in years. He supervises the egg-laying hens who roam freely on the property.
How long have you lived in Newtown? We moved to Newtown in June of 2007. The following spring is when we restored three acres that we own that was originally part of an 80-acre farm. We call it our little slice of paradise.
What do you like to do in your free time? If I’m not planting, weeding, or harvesting in the field, I enjoy sharing good food and laughter with family, friends, and neighbors — especially outdoors. We like to celebrate life.
What is your favorite travel destination? I love to be anywhere near water. Trout and I used to go scuba diving, so my dream trip is scuba diving the Maldives. They have bungalows out where you are completely surrounded by water and that is the exact opposite of where we are here.
What is the best part about Newtown? The quiet life and welcoming feel of the solid New England community. It just is the essence of what New England is. Since the day we came here, everyone has been warm and friendly. People are easy to talk to everywhere, whether at the market or at a restaurant. People give you the time of day and respect each other.
Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My husband. His passion for creating, dreaming, and living out your dreams inspires me and makes me look forward to coming home every day. He encourages me to be me, which I truly appreciate. He does that for everyone he meets, too.
If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? My dad. He passed away when I was a senior in high school. The thought of him being able to see where I am now — so happy in life — would be great to share with him.
Who is your favorite musical artist? Following last year’s Farm Aid concert in Hartford, I started enjoying really listening to Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats. But my go-to all-time favorite is the Beastie Boys.
Do you have a favorite TV show? I enjoy streaming light-hearted comedies like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Kim’s Convenience.
What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been given? The four principles from the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, which are to be impeccable with your word, don’t make assumptions, don’t take anything personally, and always do your best.
What is something you cannot live without? Sunshine and laughter.
What is your proudest accomplishment? My ability to successfully manage and balance a dual career while staying true to my authentic self.
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