We aren’t a giant operation, and we aren’t looking to become one. For us, farming is about creating meaningful relationships and producing food that is good for our planet and our people.
Farming has always been part of my life. But it hasn’t always been as rewarding as what I do at Shaded Grove Farm Market.
I grew up on a conventional row crop farm, helping my dad grow corn and soybeans. He made a living, but it wasn’t particularly fulfilling—just growing a commodity crop. And it required so many chemicals.
One day, I was filling the sprayer with yet another load of chemicals. I couldn't handle the chemicals without protective gear, yet we sprayed them in vast quantities onto the crops we raised. Just like what happens on countless farms across the country every day.
I realized there had to be a better way.
Not long after, my wife and I went to Nicaragua to spend five years as missionaries. While in Nicaragua, we observed farming practices that produced healthy soil and good-looking cattle without all the chemicals.
When we returned to Mississippi, I decided to take what I’d seen and put it into action.
I always kept a few cattle growing up. Thanks to the lessons learned in Nicaragua and from regenerative farming resources, I felt ready to take the leap into raising them full-time.
We started Shaded Grove Farm Market at the end of 2017 with a herd of cattle and a vision of farming clean, simple food while building direct relationships with a community of customers.
In 2018, we added pecans into the mix when a local couple was selling their business of 35 years. Pecans and beef aren’t a natural pairing, but having the pecan business has allowed our farm to flourish and grow.
From there we’ve expanded to pigs, chickens, lambs, and a selection of other local foods produced on neighboring farms.
The food that we produce and sell at Shaded Grove Farm Market is all-natural and raised with care. There are no harmful chemicals sprayed on this farm.
Our beef and lamb are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished. They graze on our beautiful Mississippi pastures helping to fertilize and strengthen the soil.
We also have partner farms we source cattle from if our own animals don't meet the demand. We guarantee all the animals we source from partner farms to be held to the same strict practices we use on our own farm.
Our pasture-raised pigs live outdoors, rooting for seeds and leaves and rolling in the mud, and also get access to non-GMO feed.
Our chicken and eggs come from pasture-raised birds that eat non-GMO feed.
Farming in this manner is even more fulfilling than I had hoped in 2017. I am so grateful to be able to provide you with nutrient-dense, full-flavored food.
- Craig Schmidt, Your Farmer