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Feb 22, 2018
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The Changing Face of Farming: Jamie Bryant of Blue Bell Farm

February 20th 10:02am, 2014



My husband’s grandmother, who was living at the farm, passed away in 2009. I think he always had it in the back of his mind to do something with the farm because his mother was an only child, and he was an only child, and he knew that it would be up to him at some point. So we started thinking about what it could be. We started a garden in the backyard in Glendale, and it grew and grew. I just loved being able to go out and pick fresh vegetables and herbs for dinner. It suddenly clicked that that made me really happy.

I started an apprenticeship at EarthDance in 2010. It was really validating that yes, I do want to do this and I can do this … to go from a backyard gardener to thinking about things in terms of crops. We decided that I would move up first and get things going. [My husband] Derek was still working in St. Louis, and he would come up on the weekends. The whole kitchen had grow lights hanging down with tables throughout. That’s how we started our seeds that first year because we didn’t have any knowledge of growing outside at that point. It drove Derek crazy because there was dirt on the floors. Thankfully, he wasn’t living here then because I think he would have really lost it.

I want to be in the dirt, growing and harvesting things. It’s not something that I see as labor or a chore. It brings me peace, and it’s meditative. I think it would have been really hard if we hadn’t found a group of young farmers that are like-minded in the area when we moved because it can be kind of lonely at times. In Chicago and St. Louis, I went out a lot. This is sort of an alternative life to that. I never would have imagined it, but I’m glad it happened. I have to remind myself of the beauty of it. When I was first here, I was in awe. I think you get in a routine where you lose that ability to stop and be in the moment for a little bit. Ultimately, raising a family here … in the air and just the freshness of everything … that’s what keeps me going.

To read about other women changing the face of farming, click here.
-photo by Carmen Troesser

By Carmen Troesser

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One Response to “The Changing Face of Farming: Jamie Bryant of Blue Bell Farm”

  1. Derek Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 10:49 am

    I’m not really that uptight about dirt on the floor.

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