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Welcome Back to Blue Yonder

Posted 10/14/2014 2:10pm by Alicia Moore.

 

Steve and Sara

Fall is normally a time in the northern climates when the growing season comes to a close and farmers start planning for the next year, but this is not the case at Blue Yonder Organic Farm, as we have a new addition to the farm team. Steve is a military (US Army 1994-1997) and Persian Gulf War veteran and is returning to BYOF as the farm manager, after working part-time here for the past two years. And he is in no way about to slow down, as he has plans for more chicken coops, specialty crops, among many other projects.       

Although I have known Steve for over six months, I had never actually heard the story about how he met Sara and how he wound up at Blue Yonder, so I decided to sit down with them both and listen to the story.                                                                      

In 2012 Sara left Florida (where she had been living for five years) and purchased her farm in North Salem, planning on turning her 43 acres into a fully functioning organic farm. Soon after her arrival she realized that she needed a tractor and thus headed over to Edwards Equipment in Danville, where she met Steve. He was one of the first people she met after her move to Indiana, and when she explained her wonderful vision of starting a farm that grows fresh, organic produce and also trains veterans in agriculture, Steve fell in love with the idea and he soon became one of the farm’s biggest fans.  She didn’t go home with a tractor that day, but instead she made a new friend. Since their first meeting, Steve has been a major supporter of Blue Yonder Organic Farm, working part-time and finally coming on board this fall as a full-time employee.                 

“I love her vision. I get what she wants to do,” he tells me excitedly. His enthusiasm is both contagious and inspiring.

“Sustainability…providing healthy food for people which is chemical free, [it] is definitely a great thing; our foods have too many hormones and chemicals. I think that the farm has a great mission and I can bring value and skill to that vision. I hope to increase productivity and help with cost cutting measures in order to be more profitable.”             

Steve says that he is glad to be at the farm once again, explaining that he finds a sense of peace here, which is what we think farming should be all about: “I’m looking forward to reconnecting with nature; it is incredibly peaceful out here on the farm and I just love it” he tells me with a smile.   

He is bringing years of experience, knowledge and skill to Blue Yonder and we’re definitely glad to have him here. In addition to his agricultural know-how, Steve also brings his incredible drive and passion, honed by years of spending time and working at his family’s property in Parke County, where his family owns a timber farm. This is also where Steve learned how to tap Maple trees and learned the age old process of producing maple syrup. The family farm is a member of the Indiana Maple Syrup Producers and his family continues to tap trees every winter and sell the finished product, a delicious dark, and caramelized syrup. It tastes better and has a richer, deeper flavor.  

Blue Yonder customers will be in for a treat next year, when Steve will start selling his maple syrup at the farmers market alongside Blue Yonder produce. Steve will of course use the special USDA “Homegrown by Heroes” label which Blue Yonder places on its produce. This label designates his maple syrup as a special agricultural product which is made by military veterans, letting customers know that they are supporting veterans when they choose to purchase these products.            

The days are getting shorter, the leaves are changing and the air is a bit more crisp and cool.  Autumn is a time of both reflection and planning, when the long hot summer is over but winter has not quite gripped us in its cold clutches. Good to see you again Steve, thanks for all you do and welcome back to Blue Yonder.    

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