KNOW YOUR FARMERS
Know your farmers – trust your food
Hello! We’re Shane and Esther, and these are our seven free-range children, our heart and soul farm-team!
Our 26-acre farm is nestled in beautiful rural south-central Prole, Iowa in the gorgeously gentle rolling hills of the Warren County countryside. We’re just 15 minutes south of West Des Moines.
For 15+ years we’ve been feeding our family out of the garden and orchard, butchering our own meats, creating and brewing up herbal teas, mixing up natural cleaners and body care products.
We take our tea very seriously, we’re fond of butter, bacon grease, and too often than not, we’re whipping up something decadent and scrumptiously delicious in the kitchen.
We relish spending time together outdoors on the farm, getting our hands dirty in the rich farm soil, and enjoying the everyday graces and blessings God provides daily.
When not growing food, remodeling the farm house, or working in residential construction, I enjoy time with the kids outdoors on the farm, sometimes this might mean playing a serious game of Catan! I enjoy wildlife, fishing, hunting and doing a variety of activities with my wife, preserving foods, planting, harvesting and sipping tea together.
Fun facts about Shane – not only does he have a green thumb, but he has a special bond with animals, but he has an amazing talent for carpentry, building most of the family’s furniture in the home.
The Farmers Wife
When not working in the gardens, or homeschooling our children, I continue my herbalist studies with an online school, I enjoy utilizing what I’ve learned here at the farm in many areas including our signature teas! I have a deep passion for family, adoption, advocating for orphans and all things home. I’m nerdy when it comes to plants, herbs, teas, flowers and neuroscience. Sitting around the table with my family engaged in good conversation, laughter and food is a splendid past-time. Holding my husbands hand is another.
Fun facts about Esther – Owning her own home bakery for 10 years, specializing in wedding cakes while her and her husband began their venture into organic gardening.
Reuniting farm and family back to the table.
How it Started
With different types of farming in both our backgrounds together, we’re both 1st generation market garden farmers.
Our passion for growing things was birthed in each of our lives, due to each of us having special family members who shared their love for animals, plants and farming.
In 2003, on just 2 acres in Western Iowa – Eden Ridge was in it’s very beginning stages. It’s where we built our home from the ground up, it’s where we’d planned on settling for a long time, if not forever. Our first garden together was planted in 2006. It was literally full of everything, including weeds! We quickly learned that reading and collecting information was helpful, but that there was NOTHING like hands on learning!
Playing in the dirt was a hobby we quickly grew to love, and one that quickly bloomed into ongoing learning about organic farming methods, herbalism, regenerative and heirloom raised animal practices, beekeeping and all things homesteading. We dreamed of owning more land and having a “farm”. But we were also content with our little cozy homestead.
With 2,000 sq. feet of raised-garden space we added over the years, we had an abundance of tasty vegetables and herbs. Nineteen fruit trees and a variety of berries scattered all over the property along with our bees to pollinate everything! It was a dreamy packed-filled homestead.
With sweat and tears, trial and error and great success our small acreage became very much established. It’s where our enthusiasm for growing things kept on growing. Our daily living and everything we loved doing, began making a little income and eventually we ventured into the local farmers market.
Beauty Among the Chaos
In 2016 just two weeks after arriving home from China with our newly adopted 6 year-old daughter, she was diagnosed with a life-altering condition. We began making trips 3x a week to Des Moines for medical appointments. During that time, we were also were in the middle of branding Eden Ridge, our little haven at the lake.
In January of 2017 Eden Ridge was officially branded as an official business. We began selling our homemade teas and herbal goods online. It also became very evident it was time for our family to move closer to the Children’s Hospital. We were torn and broken.
Saying good-bye to our community, our friendships and the little haven we had built for over 17 years was incredibly painful. We trusted God that he had better plans, but at that time, we had no clue where we would even end up.
Better Than a Dream
To make a very long story short, we transplanted new roots in Prole, Iowa in 2019, to our gorgeous 26-acre farm. God gave us far more abundant than what we dreamed or even prayed for.
And when we say transplanted, we literally mean “transplanted”. We brought small plant starts from our acreage to begin here on our farm. The very first year, we began planting 2 orchard areas and began setting up the largest garden we’ve ever had! After seeing the land for the first time, the name Eden Ridge fit even more perfect than before.
Fun facts:Our acreage was on the market for a whole year, while our farm was on the market for less than 24 hrs! We closed on our old acreage and new farm on the very same day! And even though we are out in the country, we are minutes to everything, even the Children’s hospital! God is so good!
Difficult, Yet Rewarding
Growing and raising food is one the hardest most labor intensive areas of work we’ve ever done. However, we find great joy and satisfaction in getting dirt under our nails, watching plants peek through the soil, and sharing the harvest bounty with others.
We find great joy when farm-friends tickle their taste buds with our fresh organically grown produce and pasture-raised meats. We love knowing family tables are being graced with healthy and nutritious farm to plate goodness, just like ours.
1.5 – acre pond at Eden Ridge
History of the land
In 1854 the DeVotie family purchased the original land from the United States Government. The farm was once part of several hundred acres, stretching from Churchville to where Highway 92 now resides.
For twenty-years, a portion of the land was mined for coal. It also saw the Great Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Western Co. Railway make its way through part of the original property, now known as the beautiful Great Western bike trail of Warren County, Iowa!
Over the years, the land was passed down from family members to family members, parcels sold off and inherited through wills.
Today, we feel extremely honored to own such a treasure of land. Though we have no relation to these families – we have committed to cherishing these original precious preserved acres.
The best way we know how to “share” this little piece of haven with the locals, is to provide the community with the beauty and bounty of the land.
A tableside reunion of farm and family.
Esther’s grandpa on the family farm in Minnesota.
A different farm, a simple focus
Our farm is unique in the fact that we do not want to be too big for our britches! You heard us right! We are focusing on the local communities that surround our farm within a 30-mile radius.
Now this does not mean we do not serve anyone outside our “bubble” it simply means, our focus is going right back into the communities and the families that work and live near our farm.
Size does matter! We have seen too many businesses and farms take on too much, where they begin to lose that special connection with the families they originally set out to serve.
Because of that, you won’t find any of our goods anywhere but our farm and farmers markets. Why? Because the food chain is broken, and when it comes down to it. Farm to family connections are the connection families deserve and need for food security.
Families like yours deserve the best, to know and trust the hands that grow and raise your food. Cutting out the middleman, also means lower cost for you as the consumer.
It’s time to fix a broken food-system! It’s starts with YOUR DEDICATION. At Eden Ridge, your local farm, we are dedicated to serving you with food you can confidently trust.
A Quiet Place to Rest & Relax
You won’t find large events and big attractions here at Eden Ridge. We’ve set out to create a peaceful place to bring your family out for a short drive, to come away from the chaos of this crazy world and enjoy the natural beauty our farm has to offer.
Breathing in the clean country air, and gazing upon an amazing creation set before you, can do a body and soul a lot of good.
All of our farm events are quant and cozy. Each one, simple and down to earth for normal every-day families like yours. No fancy frills, just good old-fashioned country bliss, fresh air and sunshine.