The fall of 2019, Sean Strack returned home to Berrien Center from the Dysinger’s Bountiful Blessings Farm Internship program and began planning for a small farm with similarities to what Curtis Stone and Ben Hartman have done. The spring of 2020 was a really strange time to start a farm for certain. We began in two locations, a garden west of Berrien Springs on a friend’s property and a small home garden, amounting to about 4000 sq ft of growing space used over the 2020 season.
Grow in Grace, the name, was suggested by a good friend (known in person) in response to a instagram poll.
What was not planned for, was the fact that at our home, the homeowner’s association prevented us from utilizing the land the way we had planned (no temporary structures such as caterpillar tunnels) and put a limit on two clients a day coming to the farm. These things were already in the land deed, and we were not aware of them when Sean’s folks purchased the home.
However, the grandparents purchased a three and a half acre parcel right next door, which we cleared three acres of. The land apparently has been in cultivation before many years ago by the Bixby family, who have a large conventional farm around the corner. It is very good soil.
2021 was a successful season, the farmer juggling working a part time job, being involved at church, and gardening. It was a blast. Growing space was a 1/4 acre on the new property plus the 2000 sq ft garden at home. 2022 was on track for the same and better (There are five rows of strawberries in there that may still be harvested in 2023, they just need weeded.) except that life changes occurred and a lot of time was required away from the garden.
Then the farmer moved.
- To serve others through the delivery of fresh, nutrient-dense produce; thereby benefiting their health and quality of life.
- To exemplify the Biblical principle of stewardship, in how we care for the environment and the interactions within it; both biological and relational.
- To accelerate the return of diversified, ecologically sound, and regenerative stewardship of the land.
Began with a lot of help from Mother, and two of my brothers, eventually it was just the farmer and a few friends did show up to help once. Hired one friend for a couple hours a day for a month or two in 2022.