About the Farm
Red Granite Farm came about because of our love of the farm and a desire to give our children a farm life. Both of us grew up on conventional Iowa farms, but we knew we couldn't do that for our children, so Red Granite Farm has become our way of giving our kids a farm life. We both have horticulture degrees from Iowa State. Steve's emphasis is in Fruit and Vegetable Production and mine (Nicole) is in Ornamental Horticulture.
Our 5 acre farm is in rural Boone County, Iowa. The rock in the picture pretty much explains where the name came from. We have lots of rocks we've dug up at the farm, but none as big as this one! It sits in the northwest corner of our property and is sort of a local landmark. People have said it goes 17' into the ground, so we won't be moving it anytime soon. This picture was taken in the summer of 2008 and as you can see, it was a very wet year. That "pond" behind the rock is usually a corn or soybean field.
Steve has always enjoyed growing a lot of fruits and vegetables. Even before we moved to the country we had a large garden in town that produced way more than the two of us could eat at the time. When we moved to the farm we started to dream about where we would grow what, and now have maximized the land we have to grow enough variety to sell every month of the market season. We started selling at the North Grand Farmer's Market in the summer of 2007, with just two card tables out of the back of our Ford Escape. We were tickled when we brought home $39 that first market. We now have to pull a 17' enclosed trailer to the market and often times take 2 vehicles!
I (Nicole) quit my job after our third child was born in 2010 and decided to do the farmer's market part time and take care of kids part time (they are really BOTH full time jobs!) So, in the spring of 2011 we ordered in roughly 5,000 perennial bare roots and plugs and started growing hardy perennials to sell at the market. The market had been without a perennial plant vendor for a few years, so we knew it was going to be a challenge to get the people back in the spring to buy plants, but we have developed a good customer base that is expanding each week.
After many requests to visit the farm and not many customers actually contacting us to do so, we decided for 2012 we'd have specific hours we'd be open at the farm.We have started with Fridays with the hope of expanding in the future. This depends on you, our customer!
So many people ask, "How do you do it all?" My best response is, "If you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life" and that is how we feel. Steve has a passion for growing quality produce, and I have a passion for growing great plants. Together we enjoy selling it to the community and hope to teach our children something about farm life along the way.