Work in progress
Pinehurst Farm is located on a Daleville Hoosier Homestead Farm first established in 1841, owned by Sara’s parents, Mike and Beth Reed. Although Sara grew up there when her parents were managing a dairy farm, the eighth-generation farm operation she’s currently involved is a new adventure.
Sara moved back to the farm with the entire O’Donnell clan in the fall of 2011 where they now live in an adjacent building with an apartment on the property. The entire family has a hand in the farm.
“I work on it all day,” said Sara. “The boys and I are outside…. They get right in there.” She noted they especially like the chickens, and they raise bunnies. They help with weeding and watering. Michael does all of his farmwork on his off-hours from his full-time job as a Purdue University Extension educator in Delaware County specializing in agriculture and natural resources.
The O’Donnells’ return to the family farm and their deep commitment to sustainable agriculture was actually inspired in Texas. It was in Austin, Texas, where Michael was pursuing his doctorate degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Texas where the bug bit.
“My research was in biofuels,” said Michael. He started working for an organic Community Supported Agriculture farm. With that, a passion was born, and Michael’s course immediately veered into sustainable agriculture.
“I think a lot of people our age, if they find a way to get connected… it just ignites something in you,” said Michael. That spark led the family back to Indiana, first to Montgomery County, where Michael worked at a livestock and grain operation using sustainable practices. In 2011, they made the move to the family farm to launch their own small- scale operation.
“It’s a work in progress,” said Michael.