Green Wagon Farm: The Beginning

Chad Anderson’s Story

ugandaI grew up in West Michigan on a small hobby farm with a few cattle, pigs and horses. While in high school, I wanted nothing to do with the farm. I preferred to spend my time playing basketball with friends. I left the area to attend university, graduating with a degree in entrepreneurship. I enjoyed my time in college, but every time I considered the future I was left with doubt concerning what a career might look like for me. So after graduating I decided to use my training in business to become a Peace Corps volunteer.

Farming in Uganda

The Peace Corps assigned me to a dairy cooperative in a small town in Uganda to help the farmers develop cooperative marketing outlets for their milk. In Uganda I developed a new appreciate for my food, a connection that for most Ugandans, developed out of necessity. Living with faith in rain and hope in a bountiful harvest appealed to me. In an effort to have a point of connection and to understand the Ugandan culture just a little bit more, I started a small garden there.

Moving home and growing in Michigan

eggplantFor the next two years, I was always growing one crop or another, and my understanding of farming began to grow. As I considered what to do next, I decided to explore whether this interest in gardening and growing food could become something more then a hobby, so I worked with Tom & Katie at Groundswell Farm in Zeeland, Michigan for one growing season. This experience confirmed my decision to take the plunge and start a farm of my own. I spoke with the Bielemas, who were family friends, about the idea, and they were very supportive, lending me the use of part of their land along and equipment to start a vegetable farm. I had no idea where this venture would take me, but I am excited to continue learning and growing every season, with the hopes that with each one, we will grow better food and better farmers.