Elderslie is a place where Philip and Becky Elder have raised their seven children and have enjoyed a truly wonderful life. Children grown now, two of the siblings, George and Alexis, have taken up the challenge of agricultural entrepreneurship and have been working for some five years to tend and dress their parents’ land in a productive manner. Since George’s marriage in 2011, his wife Katharine Elder has been an irreplaceable addition to the endeavor.
“No good actions can be taken without the motivation of affection.” – Wendell Berry
Agriculture at Elderslie is motivated by a love for the land and a hope to balance viable agricultural production with ecological stewardship. Before we knew that Colorado had mountains or Carolina had the sea, we knew and loved Kansas: the locust blossoms in spring, the endless fields of grain and the hedge trees standing like bitter sentinels that defy wind and age along their edges.
I care a lot about how our food tastes, so I scour the market to find the most delicious fruit and vegetable varieties to grow. Whenever I can, I grow from organic, heirloom seeds and root stock. I never use genetically modified organisms.
I am dedicated to growing fruits and vegetables in ways that don’t damage the environment in which they grow or the people who consume them. My fertilizers are always organic. I also avoid using poisons and toxins to control insects, weeds, and disease.
I learned to garden from my father and originally used his old-timey methods. Over the years, I have adapted from more current and popular methods, like permaculture and hugelkultur. On any given year, you will find a variety of growing methods employed on my farm as I experiment, evaluate, and learn.
I believe that food grown locally, seasonally, and sustainably doesn’t just taste better and isn’t just more health inducing but is more humane and socially just, too. I hope you will appreciate the vision I have for my farm and that you will join me in making it a reality by purchasing your produce here.
I sell retail to the general public and wholesale to the restaurant trade. Retail sales can be made through my farm office here on East 21st Street. My hours change with the seasons, so watch for updates on my FB page or web site (when it gets up and running). Please contact me directly for options on wholesale sales.
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.