Little Bean Farm began as a part time venture on rented land in 2013. In 2014 we moved to our permanent home in Chardon, Ohio where my husband Tony and I bought a house on 2 acres of sandy loam soils. That first season, we cleared small locust trees and lots of thorny brush off the overgrown ½ acre that is now our garden.
Since 2014 I’ve been enjoying putting down roots, establishing perennial beds and working to build health and balance in our naturally rich soils. We’ve been slowly expanding our growing area, but I love how small scale, intensive growing lets me maximize yields on our limited acreage, and with my limited time. Over the past 4 seasons, cut flowers have grown to nearly half of our operation and will likely continue to grow in the coming years. I’ll never lose the love of vegetables that led me to farming, but I’ve grown so much in my appreciation for the variety, freshness, and beauty of locally grown flowers.
In addition to our market garden in Chardon we’ve also been trialing dried bean varieties on 3 acres of family owned land in Troy Township. After two seasons of disappointing yields on land that had been conventionally farmed for a number of years, last season we put the whole field into cover crop. This spring we are excited to bring some of it back into production and see if the soil health has improved, in hopes of offering more dried beans this fall.
Since 2014, I’ve been farming part time and spending the rest of my time with our 2-year-old daughter Camille (who will eat all the cherry tomatoes if I don’t watch out). Tony works full time off farm, but is invaluable help with clearing, building, and financial planning. We’re very grateful for the tremendous community support for local food and flowers in NE Ohio. The people who show up to the market each week and make a point to find locally grown flowers for their important life events make this little farm dream a reality for our family. I feel incredibly lucky to get to do what I love and to share it with all of you!