We moved to Southern Indiana almost 5 years ago now and boy has it been an adventure. We knew it would take a while to get the farm off the ground…we figured because I was the one with all the degrees I would work full-time for a few years to support the startup cost of the farm and then we were sure I would be able to be home farming with Larry. For 4 years I worked as a nurse, dietitian and lactation consultant for the WIC program…I would work 40 hrs per week for WIC and then ~20-30 hrs on the farm. We are now farming our 5th season here at Eastward Gardens and starting this June God has opened the way for me to become a full-time farmer. Wow! DREAMS REALLY DO COME TRUE! We have experienced so many ups and downs starting this farm and we have learned so much about faith, perseverance, our strengths and our weaknesses. Since being home full-time so many amazing things have happened….
Flowers: I have always wanted to grow flowers and thanks to a lot of help and support from my mother and our neighbors we have had a very successful year of growing flowers. This year we grew dahlias, zinnias, gomphrena, celosia, lilies, cosmos and sunflowers. We are adding daffodils, ranunculus and anemones for next year and we are so excited to see what the Lord has planned for us next season. The flowers have been such a blessing and I am so thankful for the opportunity to grow and share them this season.
Onions: Well let’s just say, after farming for 3 yrs in Seattle area with amazing soil and then 4 yrs in SD area where the soil was also very rich in minerals, we thought we had a firm foundation in farming. Once we started farming in Southern Indiana we realized not all soil is created equal. Year after year we would try and grown onions with no fruit for our labor to share, and boy was this a harsh reality for us. After much care working the soil, adding back needed minerals and microbial life we finally had our first onion harvest! Hurray! This is such a testimony of restoration…if we care and nurture the soil it can be restored back to health!
Head Lettuce: We also struggled with getting nice big heads of lettuce over the years and this Spring was our first harvest of head lettuce…and boy was Larry happy! We love lettuce!
Two Tents at Market: For about the last 2 months we have added a second tent at the Sunday Rainbow Blossom farmers market and we have had our best farmers markets sales by a long shot. My mother and Larry’s mother have been very involved in the farm this year which is another DREAM COME TRUE for me! The main reason why we moved back home was to be close to family. This is the first year that our mothers have been so involved and we are filled with joy when we see them on the farm and helping at market. My mom often says how much she loves the fresh air and digging in the dirt.
Most of all what I love best about being on the farm full-time is getting to spend every day with my best friend. God has truly blessed Larry and I with this farm. We pray we can be good stewards of this land…. that we can continue to work the soil in a way that brings life and vitality to each seed planted. Farming is not just about growing healthy produce….it also has so much to do with character development. It is in the most difficult times that your true self is revealed…. and yes farming may be one of the most difficult jobs I have ever had, but it is also by far the most rewarding! I am so happy to be a full-time farmer… it truly is a DREAM COME TRUE!