WTF: Aitkenheads Leave Town Farm

Mike and Carrie Aitkenhead are synonymous with Wakeman Town Farm.

Their official title was “stewards.” But they’ve really been shepherds, leading the town-owned facility from a fledgling farm into a flourishing year-round center for environmental education, community events — and plenty of produce.

Yet after 7 years as the public faces of the Town Farm — and inspirations to Westporters of all ages — they’re leaving Cross Highway.

Mike’s contract is up in June. He and Carrie have decided to concentrate on growing something else: their family. They have 2 young children, who have grown up at Wakeman Town Farm.

Mike and Carrie Aitkenhead posed last year for the Westport Library’s “I geek…” campaign. (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

Mike will continue as a beloved environmental science teacher at Staples High School — just down the hill from WTF.

He and Carrie promise to stay part of the farm. They’ll serve on the advisory board, and will teach and participate in events there throughout the year.

“Farm life takes a tremendous commitment of both time and energy,” Mike explains.

“We’re so proud of the work we’ve done to build the farm into what it is today. But as it grows and expands, it’s time for my wife and me to pass on the torch so that we can enjoy more time with our  own 2 amazing young children.”

Carrie Aitkenhead and her 2 young children, at a Wakeman Town Farm event.

“We’re excited to see the farm embark on its next great and exciting chapter. We look forward to watching it grow and flourish under the guidance of its dedicated committee of volunteers.”

Mike calls his family’s time at WTF “an amazing adventure and incredibly rewarding experience.” He credits the farm with enriching his family’s life immensely.

“We’re forever grateful for all the love we’ve received from this incredibly supportive community.”

WTF co-chairs Liz Milwe and Christy Colasurdo praise the Aitkenheads profusely.

“We are very sad to see them go. Yet we recognize that running an operation like Wakeman Town Farm is a tremendous undertaking in every sense of the word.

“Both Mike and Carrie poured their hearts into making the farm a magical community resource. We are devoted to continuing the great work they started.”

Farmer Mike Aitkenhead in action.

The chairs call Mike “the Pied Piper of teens.” They promise that the junior apprentice and senior internship programs he started will continue.

Carrie’s forte was working with younger children, through programs like Mommy and Me and summer camps. The popular summer camp will also continue, beginning July 10.

“As the Aitkenhead family steps down, we cannot overstate their immense impact on the farm,” the co-chairs say.

The Aitkenheads leave just as the farmhouse has been renovated. A search is underway for their replacement.

To everything there is a season. Thanks, Mike and Carrie, for all the seasons you gave, to all of us!

Wakeman Town Farm is thriving, thanks in large part to Mike and Carrie Aitkenhead.

9 responses to “WTF: Aitkenheads Leave Town Farm

  1. Michael Krein

    You are the best and even here in Colorado the great job you have been doing has been praised by my many Westport friends. “Retiring to teach” not really, but enjoy the next phase of your life.

  2. Lisa Marriott

    LOVE the Aitkenhead Family and all that they did to make sure that WTF is here in Westport for a very long time. We will miss them very much. I know that Christy and Liz along with the rest of the board at WTF will make sure that the farm continues being just as magical as it has always been. I have no doubt that the best person for the job will be hired, and until then I know the farm is in good hands. ENJOY the extra time you will now have with those precious kids of yours Mike and Carrie.

  3. All of us at the Lachat Town Farm thank you for the many questions you have helped us answer over the last couple of years. We know what a wonderful job you have done for the Town of Westport and we can only hope to be as successful as the Wakeman Town Farm. Every town needs a farm and we are so glad we have had several to guide us through the experience of getting things started. We thank you and wish you the very best with your next journey with your children. Have fun and enjoy that free time.
    Big hugs,

    Ellen McCormick

  4. Mike and Carrie are true local heroes — warmest thanks for the wonderful spirit of community they created at the Farm!!

  5. Robert Mitchell

    Really will be missed, you two – and Nugget.

  6. WTF?! The Aitkenheads are leaving the farm? They have been class acts in making the farm a fabulous community resource. Another thing Westporters can be proud of. Thanks for your hard work, and good luck in your many successful endeavors.

  7. Ilene Mirkine

    To many in town the Aitkenheads are synonymous with Wakeman Town Farm. Mike and Carrie have poured their hearts, souls and hard work into making the farm the gem that it is today, and we thank them for that. The farm is a special place and you will be forever etched into its history. We wish you the best moving forward, and will miss you!

  8. Sandi Fifield

    Carrie and Mike,
    Your remarkable efforts have inspired so many students (and adults!) to think, eat and buy locally. Thank you for your years of steady commitment and all best in your next chapter ~

  9. Scott Kuhner

    What ever happened to Jeanie Wakeman? I believe she was the class of 1959 at Staples?