I (Elizabeth) and my husband Ian run Auntie Annie’s Fields, LLC. We have been married since 1997 and have three young children. Ian teaches 6th and 7th grade English in the Highland neighborhood in St Paul, I stay on the farm with the children and the chickens.
We named the place after my great-aunt Anne, who farmed the old home place in northwestern Minnesota. Auntie Anne was so full of life she just twinkled, and it seemed that she could accomplish just about anything. The stories my mom told her have inspired me all my life.
We live in an old farmhouse on 20 acres, about 45 minutes south of Minneapolis. Our soil is rich black clay, and we’re slowly transitioning it into chemical-free production. So far, we have planted a small portion of our land in clover and ryegrass, which serves as pasture for our chickens.
We believe that people’s health is connected to the health of the soil, plants and animals that feed them, so we use natural, chemical-free methods, and our animals know fresh air and sunshine. Although people are always linked with nature, it can be easy to forget that bond or take it for granted. We hope that our updates about the farm and opportunities to visit the place can let people develop a stronger relationship with this little piece of land, and with the food they eat.
We’re also dedicating part of our land to be used by the Mainstreet Project, which is making land and infrastructure available to aspiring Latino chicken farmers. We are so grateful that we can pursue our farming goals, and we want others to have the same opportunity.
Our home sits directly across the street from more than 100 acres of Big Woods Heritage Forest. Living near this forest gives us great joy, and if you ever come to visit us, you might take the opportunity to enjoy the woods as well.