Our farm is our home. We raise our children and our grandchildren here. The land provides our family with most of our food for the year. We care for our farm as we would another member of our family.
Our family has been farming for five generations in our community. Tim and Jan purchased the 40 acres that is now Maple Hill Garden and began planting an orchard of apples, pears, plums, and cherries. In the summer of 1984, they moved onto the property with their 5 year old son, Colin, and began offering fruits and vegetables for sale in 1985.
After 13 years studying and working in Santa Fe, NM and Minneapolis, Colin returned to the farm full time during the 2010 fall harvest season. Colin and Christina were married in 2012 and have been restoring an 1890 brick American Foursquare farmhouse (built by the town's brewer) on the banks of Venewitz Crick on the west side of Long Prairie. Thomas arrived into our family in December, 2013, on the coldest day of the year. Some in the family call him "Frosty."
A colorful late fall hillside above the garden and village of Clotho.
Our farm is nestled up against the west side of the village of Clotho, in the Long Prairie river valley. Rising above our rich alluvial river bottom garden soil are hills covered with a beautiful first generation forest of aspen, oak, basswood, and of course the sugar maples that make up our sugar bush. A seasonal stream runs through the middle of the property which creates a wildlife highway whose travelers include deer, wild turkey, barred owls, wood ducks, red fox, woodchuck, coyotes, and the occasional big predators such as black bear and bobcat.
We choose to farm in a way that builds diversity and regenerates the land and ecosystems on the farm. We use no chemical pesticides or fertilizers. We rotationally graze our livestock through our pastures and use cover crops and compost on our fruit and vegetable field.
When we farm, we are farming not only for our family and for yours, but also for the whole community that makes up our farm: soil, water, plants, insects, and animals.
Tim, Jan, Colin, Christina, and Thomas
© 2019, Maple Hill Garden
Tim tends to a row of tomatoes.
Thomas helps with the fall harvest.
Christina doing sheep chores.