DALEVILLE – It’s really, really green. Cabbages, broccoli, radishes, kale, spinach, beets seem to be just bursting at the seams.
It’s a quarter-acre of land just brimming with growing things, and they’re growing without benefit of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. It’s the sustainable agriculture work of the O’Donnell family and Pinehurst Farm.
“I’m passionate about it,” said Michael O’Donnell, wearing a broad-brimmed straw hat that keeps the sun off. “I love learning about agriculture.”
It’s a family affair. Michael, 31, and Sara, 32, along with their children Owen, 10, and Aidan, 7, are the brains, the heart, and the labor behind the endeavor known as Pinehurst Farm. They raise their produce organically, first for their own consumption, and then to bring to market.
The garden is laid out neatly but densely, and it’s chock full of growing vegetables. The O’Donnells use all organic methods.
“It’s a lot of handwork,” said Sara. She glances at the hoses running along the raised beds. “We’re forever grateful for the drip irrigation.”
In addition to the garden, the family keeps about a hundred laying hens, and they raise batches of 50 meat birds in 8- to 12-week cycles. All the birds are pastured in moveable pens or yards with room to roam. They are fed grains that have no GMOs – meaning the food has not been genetically modified, engineered and altered.
The family makes a weekly trip to the Pendleton Farmers Market where they sell their farm fresh vegetables and eggs. They also supply a small grocery stand in Muncie. They are enjoying the reaction to the very fresh, organic food they deliver.
“We’ve always gotten really great responses back,” said Sara. She said people like the freshness. ““They notice the difference... They like the way it tastes.”