Moving to Kansas from Dallas in 1998, we found a home just outside the charming small town of Valley Center. Major lifestyle change, exactly what we were looking for! Our intention was to produce at least some of our own food, and grow “organically” (back then you could still use that word).
Master Gardener training provided a solid knowledge base for my new environment, and when a MG friend suggested I grow cut flowers my path was forever altered! We sold flowers and herbs at several venues around the Wichita area for about 5 years.
A chronic illness that defied conventional medicine’s understanding took a toll for many years. But it inspired us to educate ourselves even further in the absolute necessity of real, pure, nutrient-dense food in order to support nature’s healing power. With much faith, work and determination, naturopathic methods have restored my health to a somewhat productive level. There’s still a lot of room for improvement!
Even though we had to scale waaay back during those years, we always managed to grow a few things just for our use. And we added a project here and there.
Then there’s the “livestock”! Starting with the chickens…then guineas…then two goats. Today we have 18! I’ve always been an animal lover, and our “barnyard pets” have been amazing therapy for me. And my former city-guy husband can’t imagine life without them…
Starting this year we’re getting back into providing flowers, veggies, herbs and berries for market. We’ll also have eggs from our small flock raised on pasture and organic feed.
As always, we’re also working this year to expand our very small venture–with our enduring commitment to quality.
Little Red Hen has been providing fresh baked bread in the Wichita area for over 12 years. A quality health food, wholesome and nutritious, baked in Wichita! Utilizing Certified Organic, whole wheat flour (produced in KS) as the primary ingredient. For the first 10 years of production, I grew the wheat and milled the flour myself. As I am now retired from farming, I obtain the flour from Heartland Mill, Marienthal KS. Heartland Mill is a full time, 100% Cert Org Mill.
The desire to stay home and raise my children is the foundation that launched gardening, canning and eventually sharing my food creations! I was laid off in 2009 with one small child and another on the way. After searching my work options I realized my weekly check would be paying for daycare and not much else. I decided to take charge of my own destiny by raising my children while continuing to contribute to our household income by means of planting a garden and raising our own food to reduce the grocery bill. Canning became a part of that to fill the pantry for winter. A lot of times I would have a surplus and shared with others. They wanted to pay me for the goodness I was giving them in jars, so the venture of Sarah Jane’s was born!
I loved knowing where our food was coming from and knew that others desired this simple concept as well. In the beginning I grew it all in my backyard but that eventually became an unreasonable task. The solution was to source the homegrown produce from local growers I knew at the farmers’ market I attended. We now source local produce from growers located in Cheney, Conway Springs and also Argonia, Kansas. Our products are made in a FDA registered, licensed and inspected kitchen with as much pride and quality as if each jar was going into my own pantry. Continued training from the Kansas Department of Agriculture and FDA on producing safe products is always a top priority.
When you take that first bite of our gourmet creation you can enjoy it with confidence knowing it is locally sourced and created with integrity. You are not only supporting local growers but also a Kansas girl with inspirations of family, great food and living life without regrets.
Thank you for your support ~Sarah Jane
We are a 5 acre farm. We usually have 4-10 hogs fattening at any time. Fruit trees are scattered around the farm and we have about 1 acre planted to tomatoes and other produce.
Our daughter Maria bakes cinnamon rolls, sweet breads, cookies, fruit rolls, and pecan pies under the name ‘Maria G’s Baked Goods.’