Published May 11, 2017

Member Spotlight — Jill Beebout, of Chariton

By Tamsyn Jones

Jill BeeboutJill Beebout farms at Blue Gate Farm with her husband, Sean Skeehan. They steward 40 acres of family land in southern Marion County, which has been in the Beebout family for generations, where they raise Certified Naturally Grown produce, laying hens, honey bees, hay and alpacas.

Their marketing is done primarily through their CSA and at farmers markets, including the Des Moines Downtown Farmers Market.

Jill also makes homemade preserves from the produce she and Sean grow, and dyes and spins yarn from fibers sourced from their own alpacas as well as other wool sources.

Jill and Sean’s vision is to create an economically and ecologically self-sustaining homestead that provides an ongoing connection to the Beebout land for their family, guests and themselves.

Fundamental to this vision are naturally based production methods including composting; rotational planting and grazing methods; integrated pest management; rainwater collection; prairie restoration; responsible timber and wetland management; limited dependence on petroleum products and public utilities; and no synthetic herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers.

Jill has served as a leader for Practical Farmers in many capacities over the years, from serving on our board of directors and various committees; to conducting numerous on-farm research projects through PFI’s Cooperators’ Program; to speaking at workshops, conference sessions, on farminars and at field days.

You can also learn more about Jill, her farm and her discovery of this vintage farm technology in an interview with Nick Ohde for Practical Farmers’ podcast series, “On-Farm,”