My journey began as a child. I loved to go to Grandpa’s house to work with him on the farm, it was a highlight of the summers, this started my love of farm work. When I was in seventh grade I began mowing yards in the summer to earn extra money, this led me to work for a vegetable farmer who had his own farm stand. I did a lot of work around the farm and enjoyed every minute. I was a farmer at heart but lived in the town of Angola, IN. It would be years later before I would begin working on the farm. My first year at college my Grandpa passed away suddenly. I left college after my first year to go work on the farm and help my Grandma. I learned more that year than I did my whole life up to that point. I realized then that I wanted to raise my future children on the farm. Working on the farm was great but I wasn’t making any money and for a single nineteen year old boy that is not good. This led me to find a job at a local garden center. This is were our journey begins.
Before I began working at the garden center God told me I was going to meet my wife there. My first day on the job, as I was walking back I saw a girl working at the register, God said to me that she was the one I was to marry. Three years later we were married. I continued working on the farm for seven years, in that time we had two boys. Like before, the farm wasn’t going to pay us anything so I found a job at a factory but longed to do something more on the farm. I loved working in agriculture and had dabbled with fruit trees of all different kinds. I bought an 80 acre farm and built a house for my family. It wasn’t until a few years later while visiting a friend in Tennessee that the passion for agriculture was rekindled. The parents of the girl that my friend married had a peach and sweet cherry orchard, he told me that I ought to look at doing an orchard. I loved farming and the satisfaction that came with it, the only problem was that you needed a lot of money to get started. The orchard was a way that I could farm and enjoy the lifestyle that comes with it but not go in debt the way I would if I tried conventional farming. So the planning began, I started researching and planning how things would look and where everything would be. Working in the factory and on the farm was taking its toll on me. I barely found time to coach the boys soccer team. In the spring of 2009 I was able to leave the factory for a life on the farm. It hasn’t been easy making the sacrifices to work on the farm full-time but it has been very rewarding.
We started fostering three children the same year we planted our first cherry trees. In November of 2009 we were able to adopt them and our family grew from two boys to five boys. The farm is such a good way for people young and old alike to learn life skills and lessons and we want to share that experience with others. We want to be an asset to our community and offer produce at discounted prices for them picking it themselves.
We are very excited about the future of our agritourism venture. We believe that people will love the experiences and learning opportunities that we have available now and in the future.