Bee-lieve it: First-time farmer finds success with Market Wagon

Aug 13th, 2021

Jared Bruce isn’t your typical farmer. It’s not just because this is his first year working the land at B Lavender Farms. It’s the fulfillment of a dream that’s been years in the making.

It’s all there if you look at his logo, a honeybee (the “B”) nearly encircled by a stalk of lavender. His long-term goal is to grow lavender, a low-maintenance crop if it’s in the right soil.

After a lot of research, he discovered the right soil is in the heart of blueberry country near Lake Michigan. His 10-acre farm in Covert, Michigan, can sometimes mean a three-hour drive from his home in Geneva, Illinois where he lives with his wife Molly, 6-year-old son and 2-year-old twins, with a baby girl due this fall.

It takes three years for a lavender crop to be ready for harvest. While he waits for the lavender to mature, he continues to farm the blueberries which were already on the land as well as add other crops like gorgeous sweet corn, broccoli and eggplant. He also makes homemade blueberry jalapeno and smoked blueberry jam. But he’s most excited about his cherry tomato crop which are ripe now and just about perfect.

“It’s my first everything,” Jared says with a big laugh. “Everything is growing in spite of me.” He credits older farmers with sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience to help make his first year a success.

Now, he tries to return the favor to those experienced farmers by sharing his experience with them.Jared says he’s been very impressed with Market Wagon. As a one-man operation, he cannot afford to sit at a farmers market and hope that customers come or don’t get rained out.

“I know exactly what I need to bring,” Jared says. “There is no excuse if you’re doing all this work to not put your commodity on Market Wagon.”

All of Jared’s homegrown products with B Lavender Farms are for sale in the Northern Illinois as well as the Chicago Lakeshore marketplace with delivery each Tuesday.