Getting to Know Your Local Farmer, Lance
By Riley Box, High School Farm Staff Member

This week I got to sit down with Lance to get to know his story. Lance got into the field of farming in Vancouver, where he received his graduate degree and completed his internship. Once he moved to Grand Rapids he learned about New City Neighbors and the bakery. He was interested in finding a job in the Creston neighborhood and in a social enterprise. Lance helped create the farm, and was inspired by the bakery to employ high school students. In Lance’s free time he loves to spend time with his three kids. When he has time, he enjoys passing the time by reading or playing chess. He still likes to skateboard but is usually busy with his kids.

Lance is excited for the upcoming CSA summer season because of Danah (our new high school and intern director) joining our team. Last year on the farm it was hard to offer support to the staff. With the help of Danah the students will be able to learn more this summer. Lance really loves to watch the students learn about vegetables and farming. He is really relieved to not have to build a cafe this year so he can focus on having a strong summer season. Lance says,“I like that the cafe brings everything full circle from seed to mouth. Students get to see the whole process, and get the chance to eat our vegetables. The shareholders also get to experience Joel’s creativity and amazing recipes.” You can meet Lance during CSA pick-ups or see him working around the farm.

Fun Facts about Lance:

What is your favorite part about farming or farm job?
“Farming is continually constant problem solving, it’s a very mentally engaging job. Vegetables all work in different ways and you have to figure out the best way to grow them.”

What is your least favorite thing to do on the farm?
“Moving compost with wheelbarrows.”

What’s your favorite vegetable or thing to grow on the farm?
“Broccoli, it’s the hardest vegetable that I can grow well on the farm.”

What advice would you give a new gardener or farmer?
“Be very aware its a very difficult business to make money in, so keep your eyes wide open.