Since Larry and Vickie Shead’s retirement as educators a few years back they have been showcasing their farm to the public.
They started an event last year for visitors to explore and gather ideas from the Shead’s sustainable lifestyle farm.
“We feel we are just caretakers (of the farm),” Vickie Shead said. “This is what God has given us to do.”
“The Shead Farm Homestead Festival is great for all ages with the farm’s 50 point tour, children’s educational game center, music, and food court, all setting the stage for new innovative ideas and educational information about gardening and farming that produce quality food,” she said.
On May 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. they are opening their farm to the public for the second annual Shead Farm Homestead Festival, located at 2468 Cavalry Rd, Garland, KS, southeast of Fort Scott.
In addition to a farm tour of their gardens, orchard, greenhouse, animals and bee keeping activities there will be a food court serving products made at the farm: walking tacos for $5 and supercharged cookies for $2.
Vendors will be selling seedlings, soap, honey and more.
The farm will be filled with sounds of live music by many local musicians, David Pritchett, Ralph Carlson, Mim Carlson and Carolyn Tucker. Also, a local group called the Prairie Sunflower Strings will perform as well: Marilyn Adcock, Charlena Burns, Jack and Sandy Hemphill, Joyce Love, Cherry Nelson, Jean Strader, Stephen Moses. There will also be an open jam session. Sound is provided by Dave Oas.
Children will have lots to choose from for activities: an animal arena, story station, photo place, cow milking, butter making, and more.
Admission for the day is $5 per person or $20 for a family of four and more.
Their children and their spouses will be helping the day of the festival excluding Michael and Chrisi Shead and family, who are missionaries to Guatemala. Those who will be helping May 21 are: Mark and Haley Shead, Mitzi and Joel Ray, and Maria and Clayton Whitson, along with most of their 21 grandchildren. Many other volunteers are helping to make this a great family outing.
For more information:
Phone: (620) 224-4149
Email: [email protected]
History of the Shead’s Sustainable Homestead
In 1978, Larry and Vickie Shead moved to their family’s 1892 homestead with a goal of having a healthy, sustainable, organic farm.
They began to produce fruits, vegetables, herbs and animals, and also to teach and train the family the value of hard work as a fun activity and entertainment.
Before “agritourism” was a word, the Sheads found themselves welcoming guests who wanted to experience farm life. These included: school field trips, church camps, reunions, weddings, and large Thanksgiving gatherings.
Over the decades, five colleges used the farm for weekend retreats where students could experience the life of work and fun in the outdoors. Over 3000 students representing 50 states and 54 different countries have come to enjoy the farm.
In 2017, Vickie’s dream of a high tunnel (greenhouse) became a reality through a Natural Resource Conservation Service grant, through the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
“The high tunnel not only extends the growing season but helps protect against insects and chemical contaminants that might drift from neighboring farms,” she said.
In 2021, the Shead Farm was registered as an Agritourism Farm with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
Over 44 years, Vickie has planted, grown, harvested, and preserved all her organic produce surplus which was dehydrated and ground into extremely fine powder and added to cookies, eggs, smoothies, peanut butter sandwiches, meats, soups, casseroles,
puddings, salads, etc.
It is called VEGGIE POWDER.
The powder provides extra nutrients for families constantly on the go, parents of difficult eaters, or those wanting a more healthy natural diet, she said.
The concentrated organic Veggie Powder from the Shead Farm has an interested beginning.
“Having 250 kindergartners come to the farm
for a fun, farm field trip was an eye opener,” Vickie said. “The school provided healthy sack lunches. However, when the trash was emptied, almost all of the carrots and most of the apples were in the trash along with half-eaten peanut butter sandwiches. The
cookies were ALL EATEN. Children, as well as adults, often choose to eat what they want to eat, pushing the healthy vegetables to the side. Vegetables are sadly missing in so many diets.”
VEGGIE POWDER is made without fillers. In each bottle, she uses available vegetables: kale, cucumbers, zucchini, chard, sweet potatoes, sweet potato leaves, summer squash, carrots, carrot tops, butternut squash, okra, spinach, beets, beet greens, eggplant, Malabar spinach, and Moringa.
Veggie Powder will be available for sale on the day of the festival and additionally, the powder is sold on Etsy for $5 per oz.
After ordering, each customer receives a thank you card with a recipe on the back, usually made by Vickie and Larry’s grandchildren.
Customers can visit their Facebook page for inspiration on how to incorporate the powder into their meals.