Hannah Tested, Hannah Approved: Part I – Meet the Farmer

Editor’s Note: Hannah will be using Lehman’s products and blogging about them in the coming months. Who better to field test our gardening, farming and kitchen tools than an off-grid farmer? We look forward to this series, and we think you’ll benefit from Hannah’s knowledge, too! You can follow Hannah’s farming adventures on Facebook at Humble Hands Harvest

Hi, I’m Hannah. I’m a young farmer who grew up in the city. That’s not an easy thing

hannah breckbill garden to be these days, with land prices through the roof and not very many of my peers understanding what it means to live my life in response to and in collaboration with the earth.

As a college student about eight years ago, majoring in Mathematics, I gradually became aware of a disconnect between my academic life and the “real world,” where wars raged and injustice spread and living things rooted down. I briefly considered quitting college to work with a peacemaking group, but came to the conclusion that I could graduate and figure out something “real” to do after that. I found an internship on a farm in Texas focused on small-scale agriculture as applicable to the developing world, and jumped into managing a Community Supported Agriculture vegetable garden alongside a goat dairy.
I moved to Decorah, Iowa, continuing my farming career in the driftless region that spans southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa, and southwestern Wisconsin. I worked on a variety of vegetable farms for several years before being given the opportunity to start my own, which I named Humble Hands Harvest. Now, I grow two acres of vegetables for local markets, as my primary income. What an honor it has been, to grow into a living that enables me to connect myself and my community to the abundance of this spot on earth.

hannah breckbill farmers marketAs a single young small-scale farmer, simplicity is of high importance to me. Most of my personal possessions fit into a teeny tiny bedroom in the house I share with 3 other people. I would guess 80% of my food comes from things that I grew myself, year-round–which means that I put a lot of work into preserving and growing staples. I walk to and from my farm (I live about a mile away) and go to town (10 miles away) 3 times a week–for two farmers markets and for church.

The place where I’m farming is off-the grid, so I avoid energy-intensive processes there. That’s why Lehman’s is important to me! Simple, non-electric products to keep me working well, with a quality that will keep me working a long time.