Berezan Family Farm is a relatively new farm located in Hartwood, Virginia. Our home was built in the 1990’s, but in 2015 we plowed over 4,000 square feet of garden space in our backyard and acquired the first 7 birds of our chicken flock. In 2016, our flock grew to 18 and the gardens flourished!
We began our journey towards homesteading because we want to achieve a self-sustaining lifestyle. With our combined background in business and accounting, we wanted to put those skills to work for ourselves in a business we would be passionate about. As a family, we have become very conscious about the food we eat. Like many people, we have become more aware of the complications of conventionally grown and produced foods and products. We have noticed first-hand the effects conventional foods have had on our bodies. Vegetables are a large part of our diet and the more we looked out at our land, the more opportunity we saw. Not only could we grow non-GMO food for ourselves, but we saw an opportunity to contribute to our community through something that we are passionate about- quality, sustainably sourced, responsibly raised food.
On our homestead we only use non-GMO seeds and focus on organic growing methods. Intercropping, or companion planting, means cultivating two or more crops together that work together to attract and repel insects and pests. Instead of using chemicals we use plants such as borage, catnip, lavender, sunflowers and grow certain vegetables next to each other in order to maximize companion growing. Through this process, we avoid using chemicals (even “organic” ones) on our produce.
We are “skipped generation” farmers. Kirsten’s grandmother grew up farming and still gardens to this day! She raised her children in farm life trading beet sugar for flour and lived in an agricultural community where trades like this were the norm. She also raised chickens for meat and slaughtered them herself alongside her children. In fact it is a version of her bread recipe that has become our signature baked good! Kirsten’s father carried on the tradition of gardening during her childhood and has offered his knowledge to Berezan Family Farm in planning, learning, and laying the groundwork to help make our operation a success!