Meet our Farmer Heroes: the Ringger Family of Fruitful Hill Farm

 

 

 

 

 

Farmers like the Ringgers of Fruitful Hill Farm (aka Ringger Farm) in Smithville are wonderful examples of why our own local food system is so inspiring . Farming 50 acres right down the road in Bastrop County, they make sustainable farming a family affair. “When we moved to Texas from Indiana 11 years ago, we looked for a few acres so that our children could dabble in raising animals and gardening- but we never expected to do it at the scale we are now,” says Amy Ringger.

Dale & Amy, along with their 6 children (ranging in age from 12-22), all work together to plant, weed & harvest the crops and take turns taking them to market. “There isn’t another type of business where we could all work together like this one,” says Amy, “Farming is hard work, but there’s time to visit, and it’s varied, not monotonous.”

They grow over 50 varieties of local goodness throughout the year, with the list ever evolving as they fulfill customer requests and try new things. This week we’ll have their eggplant in the local box, and we have Fruitful Hill herbs, onions and various other veggies available on our site.

Fruitful Hill Farm eggs are also awesome, and we know it’s because they come from happy hens. They move the chickens about once a week to a new section of pasture so they get new grass and bugs to eat. They even have an “eggmobile” that moves along with the birds so they have a place to lay the eggs, and some protection from the wind and sun. Moving them across pasture also helps evenly distributed return of fertilizer to the soil.

When asked what inspired them to choose sustainable agriculture, Amy gave simply the best answer there is: “We grow the type of food that we want to eat.”

About Mason

Mason Arnold has been a sustainability pioneer and serial entrepreneur since graduating from The University of Texas at Austin in 2001 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He co-founded Greenling in 2005. Mason pretty much works all the time, because he loves what he does, but in the few windows when he's not working he likes to spend time with his wife, Mylie, who has her own business, by the way, called Go Dance. Mason's not hard to spot when he's out and about primarily because he drives around in a Prius with a 5' banana on top of it.
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