Elana Gingerich

Elana Gingerich

East Holbrook Chestnut Grove | Parnell, Iowa

Why do you want to farm?Elana Gingerich

I grew up on a farm and I’ve always been drawn to producing food. I enjoy the range of challenging to peaceful aspects of farming and consistent opportunities to learn new things.

What are you farming right now?   

My husband and I farm on 40 rented acres of pasture and timber 20 minutes west of Iowa City. We have 10 acres of chestnut trees, 2 acres of pawpaws and a small herd of cattle that we finish on grass. We also grow and sell chestnut and pawpaw seedling trees, which we hope to be expanding in the coming years.

What’s your vision for your farm?

I’d like to expand our nursery to help other growers get going with chestnuts and pawpaws. I want to have a productive and financially successful chestnut farm that can act as a model for other farmers looking to diversify or get started in chestnuts. I also hope that eventually our farm can be our primary source of income.

Why do you want to participate in this program?

Every time I participate in any PFI event, I meet so many wonderful people and create valuable relationships and I know that being in this program will do the same. I’m already learning things from other participants of the program. I haven’t decided for sure what to spend the saved money on, but maybe a chestnut washer or sorter so I can sell nuts by size and sort nuts for my neighbors who are also growing chestnuts.