When Richard Stewart decided to return to his family’s Hamilton County farm, he had a lot to consider: How to farm in an increasingly turbulent weather pattern. How to transition to meet his customers’ demand for organic products. How to revive a former swath of farmland that had been mined for gravel. How to grow more crops in a smaller space.
“These are all puzzles to be solved,” he said. “I love puzzles.”
He knew, whatever path he took, he’d have to be profitable. And so the freelance illustrator joined his father as a full-time farmer—boarding horses, making hay, tending a market garden, supplying chefs, attending farmers markets, growing grain and keeping bees.
“We learn as we go and we try to grow without incurring large amounts of debt, which can be a blessing and a curse. On one hand a bad year is never horrible, but quick growth is always impossible,” he said. “We are patient. In the end, many of the things we do simply fit together and complement each other.”
Carriage House Farm will be a stop on the Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series Sept. 14.