What a relief to be growing our own food in the best ways possible! After years of subpar health and fighting to find the foods I needed to regain and build health I am pleased beyond measure to be growing the best foods for myself and my family. We are honored and proud to be the trusted farmer and friend to our customers as they provide for their families in this most basic but hugely impacting way.
I grew up on the family farm here in Fairmount Indiana. We farmed it very conventionally using all the normal labor saving chemicals and equipment. I truly believed we were producing great food but at that time I had no desire to participate in the family business. I attended Taylor University and finished with a BA in Biblical Literature. Once my wife finished her degree, we moved to Tucson, Arizona where I pursued several different jobs and business ventures all while planting house churches and building relationships across the city.
My health had been on a steady decline since the age of 18 and I was facing autoimmune issues by 26. After a frustrating go with the traditional medical establishment, I found an MD that practiced functional medicine. This helped me get my health out of the downward spiral and into a sustainable state.
When we bought a new house with an actual yard and plants in Tucson, the pieces of my health journey begin coming together. I sprayed the weeds with round up, just like back on the farm. I went after the ants with an insecticide, just like back on the farm. I used synthetic fertilizer, just like back on the farm. I then was shocked when everything began to die! I was frantically searching google looking for help when I came across a group of scientist that were talking about the important life in the soil and all the chemicals that disrupt and kill it. They also spoke of the human gut flora and how to rebuild both using similar principles. I became painfully aware of how much I didn’t understand about soil health and even my own personal health.
New paradigm in hand, I recovered our yard to the point the neighbors were literally looking over the walls to figure out how we were getting such amazing results. I also used these principles to recover my own health and rebuild my immune system. My health was no longer sustainable but rather regenerative just the way I believe God designed it from the beginning.
This process of finding food in Tucson was much more challenging than I would have ever imagined. We grew some of our food in the yard but far from enough for our growing family. We had to source it from others. We checked out our farmers and listened to them and their heart for producing food. Many we didn’t continue buying from due to farming practice but even in the desert we were able to scrap together enough food that we trusted, but paid a fortune for it… My health improved and that of my family.
The next steps seemed obvious to Isabell and I as we considered our role back on the family farm in Indiana. We gave up the comfortable life we had built in Arizona and moved back to start a crazy farming business venture. We are thrilled to be on the farm making changes that heal the land, purify the water and air and provide excellent food for our family and our customers.
I grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis Missouri and the only time I saw livestock was on the way to camping trips. All I knew was food came from the grocery store. My diet was a typical for an American. We were fortunate that a majority of the time my mom and sometimes dad cooked homemade food. Processed meals and fast food were the exceptions and not the rule.
After graduating high school I moved to Kansas, land of wheat! I attended art school at the University of Kansas, where I earned a B. F. A. in visual communication and have been working in the graphic design field ever since.
Food continued to not be on my radar or be an issue for me. I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted and I still enjoyed reasonably good health. That changed when my wife had health issues which were affected by what she put in her body. She found real benefits from eating organic food, using supplements, and avoiding certain types of food such as gluten. Because of her experience, it entered my awareness that food quality is important.
My family moved to Tucson, Arizona in 2010 where I met Willis and Isabell. As we became friends, Willis shared with me his own health journey and struggles related to food. Over the years he studied nutrition, health, and food production practices and I witnessed the dramatic improvements in his health resulting from his change in diet and other healthy practices.
I began to reconsider my own eating habits and made alterations in my diet. Following Willis example, I've cut down on carbs and sugar and added better quality foods to my diet. Thereafter, I saw the payoff as my yearly health screening showed normal triglyceride levels after several years of steadily increasing levels above the normal range.
I appreciate Willis's desire to pass on what he has learned so that others can realize the benefits and especially his belief that good health is not only physical but includes the social, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual aspects of life. By the time Willis and Isabell left Arizona for Indiana to pursue their vision of building a farm to provide healthy food and life, their passion resonated with me. They took me up on my offer to help in any way I could, and I have assisted them with branding and marketing as well as helped creating and maintaining the website.
My hope is that Willis and Isabell's vision for the Endless Knot Community Farm would grow to fullness. That the farm would not only provide healthy food, but also serve as a resource for health and wholeness for many.
Working in IT by day, Ian enjoys helping with special projects on the farm when extra manpower is required or an engineering mind is needed for project completion. He also keeps the lawn looking great.
I am a fifth generation farmer! That’s right, fifth generation! I was raised in the same farmhouse in Wells County Indiana that my grandpa was born in and my great great grandfather built. Tradition runs deep on the farm. However, I am now a first generation regenerative farmer as well! Taking steps towards a more sustainable form of agriculture has been a complete learning curve! Rethinking and reimagining agriculture practices that I have grown up with as the “normal”. Never questioning our conventional agricultural system that was so common to me.
Growing up I had no problem eating anything and everything I wanted, not caring how healthy (or unhealthy most of the time) my food choices were. My mindset stayed the same until a few years after high school. I took a job at a local grass fed regenerative farm and my journey had begun! Needless to say I started to slowly come around. I began to see the benefits that a nutrient rich diet had on my whole body! Unfortunately, though I now had the head knowledge my eating habits and lifestyle only slightly changed for the better.
Everything changed one summer when a couple of friends on the farm and I decided to run a Spartan Race. We quickly came to the conclusion that if we were going to run this obstacle race, training was in order. This was when I started really digging into fitness nutrition and it’s affects on my training. Finally bringing about a direct connection in my mind between food and it’s instant and inseparable connection to the function of the body. Everything I ate would either help or hinder the training I was working so hard at.
Ever sense that summer I have been able to see even more of the benefits to a healthier and more holistic lifestyle. It was not through changing to better food that I saw the differences, on the contrary! I was unable to go back to my old food habits! Now that I am eating 95% cacao chocolate bars I could hardly get past the sweetness overload of of milk chocolate. Homemade hamburgers with grass-fed beef have made fast food taste like garbage. Iceberg lettuce has no chance against a delicious kale salad. These changes led to even more discoveries and interests centered around my overall health and longevity. Wellness in every aspect of my life became the goal. Connections were now happening everywhere I looked. Food was connected to my physical well-being now! But could it also be connected to my mental health? What about my spiritual health?
This background and these experiences are what make me so excited to get behind the concepts and goals established here at Endless Knot Community Farm! My desire is to be a blessing to the whole community through my actions and work on the farm! I want to create amazing nutrient rich food while at same time upholding the values and concepts of good stewardship, and the original design for Gods creation.