The Homestead is my newest art print - inspired and made possible by Brycen and Emma Ek of Heyday Homestead, an organic farm in Northwest Montana. Read their interview below!
What is Heyday Homestead and where is it located?
Heyday Homestead is a organic microgreens, edible flower, produce, & egg business located just South of Kalispell in the Flathead Valley.
Who are the farmers behind Heyday Homestead?
The farmers behind Heyday Homestead are married couple Brycen & Emma Ek, alongside their chief protector Kate the Dog & their mouser, Sparta the cat.
How did Heyday Homestead find it's name?
The name Heyday Homestead was chosen for multiple reasons. For one, our plot of land is in an old hay field. Moreover, the word Heyday means "a period of great success" and we just love the idea of giving our farm a positive name of good fortune. We also chose "homestead" as our farm is all-encompassing. We preserve our foods for the off-season, have laying chickens for eggs, and make our own homemade home & body products. Plus, we like paying our respects to the true homesteaders of Montana!
How long have you been farming? How did you get into farming?
We have been farming for two years now. After we met in the Peace Corps, we knew we wanted to come back home and do something different, something sustainable. We had both been educators before and didn't want to go back to the 9-5. Around the same time, we were gifted a small plot of land and it just made too much sense. Why not try it out? Neither of us have agriculture education but we didn't let that stop us. My parent's (Emma) had recently just opened up a microgreens business and showed us the ropes. Brycen's mom had been an avid home gardener for years. Between the two resources, we took in all of the knowledge that we could. We still have so much to learn, but we are enjoying each and every baby step.
What have you learned from being a farmer? What has been your biggest takeaway?
This is a hard question as we have learned so, so much. From actually learning how to grow various vegetables to running a business, it has all been brand new. Biggest takeaway? This work is TOUGH but oh so good. At the end of the day, its often not sleep that we want but more daylight to keep doing the things that we love.
What is your favorite crop to grow and why?
Obviously the microgreens as they are such a novel crop in today's market and it's such a joy to introduce something so delightful. For example, you should see the look on people's faces when they try our wasabi mustard microgreens! The texture, the taste, the versatility... and beyond that, the health benefits. These bad boys have 4x-40x more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients than their adult counterparts. How cool is that?
Favorite farm chore?
Harvesting and packaging our gorgeous edible flowers!
What is the most challenging crop to grow?
We have only been cultivating vegetables now for two years so this is a hard one to answer! Each year has been a little different. This year, it's the celery. The darn celery.
What's the most challenging task of farming in general?
It's an old, worn out answer but living where you work can take a toll on you. The farm chores don't stop at 5 pm and you have to figure out a way to manage a work-life balance anyway.
What are your future goals?
In the future, we'd like to expand our microgreens business to be a year-round business. We need to insulate our grow space to make that happen. We'd like to have year long microgreens subscribers and start selling our greens to groceries in the local area and even beyond. We'd like to get good at "intensive" market style gardening for our large produce so that we can really fill our market booth year-round. Finally, at some point, we'd like to have a space on our land for community events like farm yoga and farm to table dinners.
Do you listen to music while farming? If so what?
We do! It varies. Brycen is a old-school country guy all the way. As for me, (Emma) give me some Grateful Dead or some hip hop and I am happy as can be!
Early birds or night owls?
Night Owls. Not your ordinary farmers.
If you could describe yourself as a fictional character or animal, what would it be and why?
Hmmm....let me get back to you later on this ;)
Do you have a CSA that locals can sign up for?
We do! We have rolling sign ups for both our microgreens and full vegetable CSA which runs now through October. Find us on Facebook or Instagram @heydayhomestead for more!
Where do you distribute you're produce? How can we find you locally?
We are at the Kalispell Farmers Market every Saturday morning 9-12:30 and at the Bigfork Farmer's Market every Monday evening 5-7:30. You can also find our microgreens in many of the local restaurants!
Follow Heyday Homestead:
If you enjoyed this interview, please subscribe, share and comment below!