Whew! Thanks for taking the time to peruse our website. These are exciting times in the Sievers household. I just finished ordered seed-starting trays and miscellaneous supplies today. I’m trying to be as organized as possible, but can’t help feeling like I’m missing something.
Another reason I’m feeling anxious as I look through my seed-starting and planting schedules is because we are expecting a new little bundle of joy come April 9th!
As you can imagine, the stress level is only going to increase as April looms closer and closer.
I’m sure many of you are wondering… why now? Why not start next year? Two years from now? Five years from now?
This wasn’t something born overnight. I think a part of me always thought I would be involved in some sort of farming, even as a little girl. I could envision my two story farmhouse with the big front porch and the old-fashioned hand pump spigot out front. Today’s vision is much different–more focused on what I’m actually growing rather than the “image” of a farm.
I began college at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (go Dawgs!) planning to be an agriculture teacher, then switching rather quickly to being a Plant & Soil Science major. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do other than there might be a possibility of coming home and farming with my Dad.
Of course, as Hayden and I became more serious, I realized that coming home was probably not something that was going to happen. If you’ve ever met my husband, he calls Calhoun “God’s country”, so you can imagine if I was hoping to marry him one day how living back home might not be an option. Yet, to this day, I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be home farming fields of corn and soybeans with my Dad.
In the middle of my senior year at SIU, my soil science professor approached me about continuing my education further. I ended up studying under her for the next two years, fortunately landing a research assistantship studying cover crops. For those of you that don’t know what cover crops are, they are crops you grow in the off-season on your field(s) for various reasons. Some reasons farmers might grow a cover crop could be erosion control, nutrient removal, nutrient additions, etc. This was a lovely experience that ended with my advisor and I publishing in the Soil Science Society of America journal!
After I obtained my Master’s degree, I had a hard time finding a job, mainly because I had just gotten married and was very location-bound. At the same time, my father-in-law, Raymond, was starting to have some serious pain in his back and leg, and because of this, he was unable to do the breeding for the hog farm. My sister-in-law and I stepped up in his absence and began helping on the hog farm. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in October 2016, but luckily as soon as he started chemo the tumor in his back that was pushing on is sciatic nerve shrunk. I am happy to say he is in remission today and is (mostly) pain-free!
When Raymond was able to go back to work, I ended up teaching Intro to Soil Science for a semester at a local(ish) community college. That May, I then ended up landing my current job writing manure management plans for an engineering company!
However, since college, I’ve thought a lot about what it would be like to have our own farm. Dr. Taylor’s ‘Vine & Small Fruit Culture’ class at SIU was definitely a turning point for me. In that class, I got to visit several farms that, instead of growing thousands of acres of corn and soybeans, grew a few acres of specialty crops like strawberries, grapes, and various vegetables. After this class, I began dreaming about what I was going to grow on my future small farm.
Hayden has been nothing short of a God-send to me. He also shares a passion for the farming lifestyle, but he would admit that the dreaming has been all me. He is very technical and likes the idea of working with his hands, but he is more than willing to let me take the wheel and steer the farm in whatever direction it needs to go. Flowers fill a niche that our area doesn’t necessarily offer nestled amongst the peach orchards and pumpkin patches of Calhoun, and it’s also something that I feel could grow immensely if someone put the time and effort into it.
So, to end a very long story, we are starting a cut flower farm with the hopes of supplying local florists, farmer’s markets, and the general public with locally grown flowers. In addition to fresh cut flowers, we are planning to offer some unique bedding plants, a few vegetable starts, and dried flowers for crafts. We would love for you to be a part of our journey, so please check our website for updates often, and don’t hesitate to contact us personally to see what we have to offer!