Name: Kevin T. Ford
Place of Residence: St. Leo, Kansas
Background and Personal History: After College, Kevin and his wife Mary moved to their first home in the city of Wichita, Kan. Both were working as school teachers when Kevin discovered homesteading and began secretly plotting his escape from the concrete jungle.
Through a series of fortunate events, Kevin and Mary were able to purchase a small homestead near the city so that Kevin could commute to his teaching job while also maintaining the homestead with chickens, goats, and a large garden. The taste of farming got into his blood, and it was just a matter of time before he followed the call to the country for good.
In the spring of 2010, after three years of teaching, Kevin quit his job to follow his dream of becoming a full-time organic farmer. Without a real plan, they moved in with family, who offered them a few acres to get started as market farmers. Their first year, they grew 3 acres of vegetables, and also endured the first of two consecutive years of historic drought in Kansas.
However, they successfully ran a large CSA, and sold through local farmers markets in northeast Kansas. After that first year, Kevin yearned for a place of his own. Rather unexpectedly, He found himself moving his family halfway across the state to the place where he grew up. They found the perfect farm only a third of a mile down the road from his home place in south-central Kansas.
Kevin has been running a large CSA with as many as 125 members for the past three years. This year they are switching to a “Free Choice” CSA to allow members greater freedom in their shares. They love their little farm on the prairie, and have been actively recruiting other families to join them on farms in the area. They hope one day to see their tiny town on the prairie bustling with families again.
Current Projects: Introducing Hogs onto the Farm; Writing a pamphlet on growing vegetables in hot, dry climates; Writing a book on becoming a farmer.
Other Fun Facts: Kevin has three children: Rose, Anastasia, and Francis; He was once a college track athlete where he qualified for the NAIA national championships multiple times in the triple jump and long jump.
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