Meet the farmers! Rachel Hershberger grew up in town but her family had a huge garden and canned a lot. Ben Hartman grew up on a 450-acre corn and soybean farm and started his first CSA the summer after graduating from high school. We met at Goshen College, where we both graduated with liberal arts degrees, and were married in 2003.
After college we worked for several growing seasons at Sustainable Greens, an organic farm in southern Michigan that supplied high-end Chicago restaurants with specialty produce. We started our own farm shortly afterwards and opened our booth at the Goshen Farmers Market in 2006. For the first three seasons we lived in Goshen and rented farmland.
In 2008, we purchased our current farm at auction. From 2008-2012 we put up four greenhouses, one per year as our markets grew. Our farm now supports a 50-member CSA and supplies area restaurants, the Goshen Farmers Markets, and the Maple City Market.
Our two young sons delight us, inspire us, and motivate us to be efficient with our time. Here's a typical day: breakfast, clean floor, change clothes, plant beans, nap time, harvest tomatoes, second breakfast, bag carrots, snack time, wash salad, lunch time, clean floor, nap time, pack CSA boxes, snack time, play time, supper time, bed time, quick go seed some more greens.
But who wants to farm alone? Besides kids, we have one employee and over the years many interns have given us their help and ideas. We use Kaizen, a lean production term meaning continuous improvement, to make sure good ideas bubble to the surface.