2018 has some changes in store for Eighth Day Farm. Jeff Roessing (founder, director) and Kyle Van Eerden (farm manager) are both transitioning on to new projects (see newsletter for more details) and we’re excited to introduce a new team:
Andy Rozendaal – Farm Manager
Andy majored in Agricultural Studies at Iowa State but wrestled with the philosophy there. Sustainability was talked about but always in the context of developing new GMO varieties or using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to minimize financial costs. Near the end of college he felt a stronger call to the ministry and enrolled at Western Theological Seminary. After graduating from the seminary, Andy served as a pastor in a church in Hamilton for nine years. But agriculture is in his blood, so in 2010 he and his wife Erin moved to Chicago where Andy served as the Director of Urban Agriculture for a non-profit called the Resource Center. Andy ran the City Farm program, selling vegetables to high-end restaurants and farmers markets in Chicago. In 2012 he migrated a little ways over to Gary Comer Youth Center to be their farm manager. Andy worked a 1.75 acre property with the help of high school and college students (including a young Kyle VanEerden) and increased production from 4,000 lbs of food to over 20,000 lbs. Andy, his wife, Erin, and their kids, Zoe and Grayson, live in Hamilton.
John Puttrich – Program Director
John found his passion for agriculture while interning at Eighth Day Farm in the summer of 2016. After pursuing philosophy at Hope College and wrestling with what nature is and how we fit into it, John married his wife Jenna and moved to Philadelphia. There, he further developed his skills while working in a Jewish permaculture educational garden and practicing political activism with Grassroots Campaign.
For John, loving the work itself of land stewardship is vital. But the context for the work is provided by the community.
The Board of Directors
“I love the Earth and I know that God has called all of us to care for it. I believe that we need to feed our souls with God’s truth and our bodies with wholesome food. The more we are connected to the Earth and each other, the more we can bring the Kingdom. I work as a Family Physician to bring people back to full health, and I work with Eighth Day Farm to bring a better source of nutritious food to all people in Holland. My marriage and family keep me rooted in the real and daily work of God, and I find joy in helping Eighth Day keep the roots of many plants growing.”
Carter moved back to his hometown in 2007 after a decade of teaching elementary school in New York City. He was eager to dig up some backyard and plant a garden. He got to know Jeff from neighborhood friends and he and his family joined the Eighth Day CSA the year it started. He works as a speech therapist for West Ottawa schools and has served on the farm’s board since 2014. He likes making sauerkraut at the end of the season to extend Eighth Day produce deep into winter.
Chris grew up without many veggies in the house, so the whole “real food” thing is a newer concept to him. Especially bok choy. He’s an expert on how to not be a food expert. Despite that, he loves the mission of Eighth Day and what they do for the community. The farm has made a big impact on his life! He also works at Hope College and is married with two awesome boys. “We care about our community and want to be a change agent in a fallen world.” Oh, and he’s an 8w9 if you know anything about the Enneagram.
Elyse was introduced to 8th Day Farm as a CSA member and quickly connected with the staff, volunteers and other CSA members as being a people passionate about healthy, local food. Her family’s exposure in their first year as CSA members helped dramatically change the way they ate and sparked a journey of Elyse’s love for cooking. Recently, she launched a blog called “Healthier Holland” where she writes about food-related topics and helps inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle.
Elyse is a 1st-3rd grade Montessori teacher at Black River Public School in Holland. She serves on Consistory at Fellowship Reformed Church. Elyse loves cooking, running, and traveling the world with her husband. Her favorite food is carrots. While she has gotten creative with recipes that include kale, rutabaga, and bok choy, she is still seeking after the elusive okra recipe that her friends and family will eat.
Avery Hanneken has been an active CSA member for the past 6 years. He and his wife Megan have three children; Ellis, Norah and Silas. Avery attends Fusion at Harderwyk Church and has run his own painting business for the past 15 years. These endeavors, along with Eighth Day Farm, supply the relationships, connection and conversations he thrives on.