Eight years ago South Bend Homestead was created as a passion project of mine, I wanted to learn to grow a garden and provide myself with produce. So I read, I watched videos and even took an online permaculture course through North Carolina State University. And for three years I put into practice everything I learned, and was producing so much that I started to share the abundance with family and neighbors. It was around this time that I started to think about starting an urban farm, so with a new house and a 1/4 acre I did just that.
I started at a small market on the south side of town for my first year where I did well, but I wanted to reach more people. So my second year I expanded and did the Walkerton market as well, but I still felt like I wasn’t reaching my potential. I knew where I wanted to be but I was extremely nervous about the enormous jump in customer base, the amount of production on my part, and the investment. But with a leap of faith I leased a booth at the South Bend Farmer’s Market for a growing season. I ended up meeting some amazing people, and did so well that at the end of my lease I bought my booth to become a permanent vendor. What had originally started out as just a personal project, and an amazing learning experience had become my dream job.
Over the last few years I’ve also had the pleasure of teaching, classes ranging from fermenting foods, square foot gardening to a myriad of urban farming topics. Last year the Lieutenant Governor of Indiana came to visit my farm for being part of the Indiana Grown program. And the farm was featured in Edible Michiana, a local magazine focused on local food. To say this has been an incredible journey would be an understatement, it’s truly been a dream come true!
With 2019 here I’m excited to see what the future holds for South Bend Homestead Urban Farm!