Spring Has Sprung

Eric Bahler Profile
Article by Eric Bahler
Gateway Farms Manager

Spring has sprung on the Gateway Woods campus! Baby chicks fill the barn, the new strawberry test patch is being cultivated, and tiny seedlings are sprouting in the warmth of the Gateway Farms greenhouse. Gateway Farms’ peak season has begun, and as spring breathes in its new life, so comes an excitement over renewed hope and a fresh start.

Gateway Farms exists to bring that Hope and New Life to our resident-turned-farmers. A natural love for all things agricultural developed into an idea to create purpose during slow summer days. Gardens were cultivated and seeds were planted. Gracious customers received the fruits of our young farmers’ labors; bi-weekly produce bins filled with God-grown vegetables. The farmers pulled weeds, and watched as God blessed their work with a bountiful harvest. As our resident-turned-farmers watched seeds turn to harvest, and hard work into income, we pray always that their hearts will be as soft to God’s faithful increase in their own lives. Hoping to create an avenue for success and a learned skill of hard work in our residents, God continued to abundantly give the increase. We watched as through crop failure and excessive rains God displayed His abundant faithfulness to our farmers as every produce bin scheduled for delivery was filled to overflowing. We saw Him use the humble beginnings of customer-to-farmer business relations develop into friendships; conversations about vegetables happening at church, and an inviting of shared life as doors into homes were opened for our farmers. We watched as our farmers found purpose and a humble sort of pride in using their God given gifts; some easily connecting with customers over phone calls to schedule deliveries, others excitedly arranging flowers, still others baking fresh goods to tuck inside their produce bins. A small seed planted and watered, an abundant harvest gifted through God’s grace.

Gateway Farms exists to bring Hope and New Life to our resident-turned-farmers.

Now in our 3rd year of Gateway Farms operations, we continually seek to create purpose for our farmers, and new avenues to reach more residents. Gateway Farms 2017 strives to serve more customers in our produce bin deliveries, raise pastured livestock for meat sales, gain greenhouse productivity, and develop our first year of strawberry sales. As we seek to be faithful stewards of the gifts bestowed on us, we pray that God will continue to give the increase, and our farmers ever know Him more as they meet Him on the farm.

Eric Bahler is currently the Gateway Farms Manager. He also served as a Houseparent at Gateway Woods with his wife Marissa and their family. They are also responsible for starting Gateway Farms.