Founder of state’s oldest organic farm honored with award

  • Rosaly Bass prepares to ride a Wells Fargo Stage Coach to commencement. Photo by Annie Card

Wednesday, June 08, 2016 6:58PM

Rosaly Bass, founder of Rosaly’s Garden in Peterborough, was honored on Saturday at Wells College in Aurora, New York. A 1958 graduate, Bass received the Wells College Alumnae Association Award, honoring her life’s work as an organic farmer.

With nearly 400 alumae filling the Wells College auditorium for the award convocation. Wells College President Jonathan Gibralter cited Bass for her 43 years of commitment and innovation in organic farming. And for her collaboration with the University of New Hampshire extension program,to improve organic practices. And for mentoring the many young field workers she employed over the years. More than a few of those workers have started their own farms or moved on to manage other farms.

Bass received two standing ovations after addressing her fellow alums, sharing a bit of farm history and philosophy, as well as a look back at her years at Wells College.

Early in her junior year Bass got married. In her senior year she became pregnant, which made life a bit more complicated, putting graduation in question. The Dean of Students was not alone in thinking graduation was at risk. But Bass never considered quitting an option. All Wells graduates ride to commencement in a Wells Fargo stage coach, and on Saturday, Bass told her fellow alums that she may have been the first graduate to bring her baby to graduation, bouncing baby George on her lap as the horses pulled her coach down Main Street.

On Saturday, Bass rode to the award convocation in a coach with President Gibralter, and “baby George” was in the audience, along with Bass’s other son, Matthew.