Marc and Claire met through organic farming, but neither of them grew up on a farm.
Marc was raised in the flats of Batesville, Indiana, and could be found as a child swinging from trees and playing sports. Inspired by a bowl of farm fresh chicken noodle soup from his friend’s farm at the age of 11, he realized how good food can be. His early childhood longing to become an orange farmer (he loved OJ) was revamped to include the farming of free range chickens, raw milk, celery, and carrots, only to be forgotten when he went on to St. Xavier for High School and then Harvard for college. The almighty oar and book consumed 8 years of time, leaving him, at the end of it, without a memory of his childhood farming fantasies. One day after college, he emerged from the basement and found a flier with cows on grass. Marc applied for a position at the farm with cows, with the intent to farm for 2 weeks while he looked for “real work”. It turned out he found what he liked, and where he felt called, where he had always felt called. After 1.5 years of managing a large herd of cattle, planting tracts of organic field crops, and cleaning organic popcorn, he moved into market gardening for 2 years, with livestock on the side, as his larger interest was in the small. Then he found Claire and his hope to become a full time self employed farmer began to take wings.
Claire grew up in Kenwood, not 10 minutes from where Finn Meadows is now located, and has always been obsessed with food. She never expected to become a farmer, but she fell in love with farming through the eyes of some of the great agricultural philosophers such as Wendell Berry. She decided to put her love into action at a garden in Washington DC, then through Americorps at an urban farm in Knoxville, then a season at an Ohio farm (where she and Marc found a melding of their minds and hearts), and now at her own farm. Her transformation began in a traffic jam in DC when she realized that life as she knew it wasn’t how people (specifically her) were meant to live. Farming offered her the simplicity and discovery of childhood, where life transforming insights can be learned every day in the quiet of the field. She had been working as an event designer, but the waste and superficiality of it all wore on her, with elegant displays going up one day and then to the dumpster the next. The circle of life, decay, and rebirth on the farm offered her what she truly wanted.
And so, in 2011, Claire and Marc began a diversified, ethical, and ecological farm in the ‘burbs of Ohio. They raise a myriad of animals and thousands of pounds of beautiful, fresh produce, and they love every second of their life on the farm.