THE STORY OF GLORY HILL FAMILY FARM
Our farm came from a conversation amongst our family. We talked about how the “old ways” of doing things were disappearing along with the knowledge of our elders. In 2013, we lost our family’s matriarch, Grandma Bert, she lived her life in a way that we wanted to preserve and continue. She grew a huge garden every year, shared her harvest, canned and preserved produce for use through the winter. Grandma was a wonderful person with a heart of gold. We wanted to honor her life and memory by living a life she would be proud of.
After much consideration and planning, we decided to turn the family home and small piece of land into a working farm. Starting from scratch, both in terms of knowledge and equipment, the idea turned into much more than we could have imagined initially. I left my job as a social worker, and with my mother, we started our venture in 2014. We started with a garden plot of 200 square feet, planting only a few varieties. We worked together in the field and in the high tunnels for a couple of years and through a lot of trial and errors, we started to learn how to grow under different conditions.
From our very humble beginning in 2014 through 2019 we have made many improvements every year in our soil, growing and conservation practices, tools, equipment, infrastructure, and machinery. With the help of my husband, mother, children, and friends, we have substantially increased our growing area from 200 square feet to almost 2 acres. We purchased and built two 30’ x 70’ high tunnels that have provided us 4500 square feet of covered inground growing space. We have added a large, commercial walk-in cooler to keep our produce fresher from harvest to market. A permanent, enclosed farm stand that remains stocked with items almost year-round was added in 2018. (Due to Covid-19, we’ve closed the farm stand to the public and have moved to selling our products online).
We completed a spring development project complete with a 1500-gallon water reserve tank, deep well pump, and drip lines. We now use natural spring water to irrigate our crops. We plan to add solar power to operate our pump and fans in the future. We added beehives to the property to aid in pollination of our crops and are planning to plant a pollinator habitat for our native pollinators in the spring of 2021.
Although my mother is no longer physically helping on the farm, she offers wisdom and advice when needed. Our children have been taught the basics of growing, maintaining, and how to harvest so that they are now able to help on the farm.
We have a positive outlook for the future. In some ways, the unusual events of 2020 have brought our family closer than ever and has allowed us some time to learn a few new things and complete some much-needed projects around the farm. My husband and children have been able to dedicate more time to the farm this year. We’ve adjusted our thinking and our goals to coincide with what our world may look like down the road. We hope that you’ll join us in the journey back to the basics of life…family, friends, community, and self-reliance.