Our story has been one big adventure. We are originally from Maryland and Chris has always had an interest in farming, so in 1998 I agreed to give it a try even though I’d hardly done a thing all my life that involved getting dirty or working hard. I expected that Chris would do the farm thing and I would do the “That’s nice, Dear” thing. Little did I know that eventually, our entire family would love the farm equally and we would be equally involved in all the work.
When we came to Northwest Iowa, we had only visited once for an interview (in January!) and we didn’t know a soul here. It was a job opportunity in a place where land prices were considerably lower than those in Maryland, so we jumped in with both feet. We learned quickly that things were different in the Midwest. We bought our 160-acre farm at an auction, something we had never been to before. We moved our house 17 miles from Spirit Lake, also something that was unheard of on the East coast. We settled onto the farm and bought 2 cows and some chickens. The cows’ first day was an adventure–as soon as they were unloaded from the trailer they broke through the fence and took off to explore their new territory. Our children have grown up on the farm. They joined 4H, where they showed sheep, goats, chickens, horses and many other projects. We’ve all gotten quite a lot better working with livestock, equipment, and the land. Now they are growing up and the orchard is Chris' and my "next big thing."