New Girl on the Block

Hi everyone, my name is Erin Phelan and I’m the new Polyface chick around town.  My husband Grady was an apprentice back in 2008-2009 and I was an intern, summer of ’09.  We married in March of 2010, ranched on his mom and dad’s place in Oklahoma for a couple years and now are back as sub-contractors for Polyface at Briarmoor, one of their rental farms.  We are both so excited to be back here working with great people and for a great cause, making it easier for people to buy local, clean food.  Here is a little bit about me:
1. What inspires you?

        God. He has given me so much I don’t “deserve”, the least I can do is my best for Him in every little task.  He inspires me along with: the sights, sounds and fragrances of nature; my husband and son; every day that provides new chance to be a better wife and mother; the Psalms; my parents and siblings.
2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

        Hopefully farming somewhere, if not here than in another place God calls us.  Also by then there might be one or two more little ones for me to love.  I would also like to be making and selling handmade items.

3. What is one of your most fulfilling hobbies?

        Gardening.  I LOVE to get my hands in the dirt, and to see all the hard work of planting each little seed become produce that can feed my family.

4. What do you like to cook/favorite foods?

        Anything that is healthy and hardy, usually the simpler the better.  A roast, fresh bread and veggies are a staple in my house, as well as spaghetti with my homemade sauce.   My greatest weakness is making or eating a homemade fruit pie.

5. What relaxes you after a long day of farming?

       Curling up with a good book, knitting, or just holding and playing with my son, Ralph.

6. How do you deal with farm animal deaths?

       Usually with the realization that it is a necessary part of life.  Most deaths are related to providing you or others with nourishment to continue living.  If not, than you might not be doing your best to give the animals the best living conditions, or the animal had a long and happy life and was done with it’s time here.  Death is still hard, no matter what, but it helps to look at it from a realistic point of view.

7. Who do you hope to share farming skills with?

      Friends, family, children and strangers who may be interested.

8. What do you like to read?

      The older the better.  I enjoy the depth and language of books like  Pride and Prejudice, The Secret Garden, and Little Women, as well as Biographies and Autobiographies.  I also just enjoy reading in general, some books are worth rereading more than others though.

9. What is your greatest asset?

      My willingness to do what God asks of me, even if it goes against what is socially acceptable.


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About Erin Phelan

Born and raised in western Michigan, Erin came to Polyface first as an intern in the summer of 2009. While here she met and got to know Grady Phelan, an apprentice at the time. The next spring they were married and after a couple years in Oklahoma they are back, working as sub-contractors for Polyface. Erin keeps herself busy with the jobs of a wife and mother, as well as helping with the animals, gardening, sewing, cooking, baking, knitting and reading.

6 Responses to New Girl on the Block

  1. Cody Holmes says:

    I have interns on my farm also. Could you explain to me how the sub contractor system works.

    • Erin Phelan says:

      We will be raising animals for Polyface. We are not employees, but are payed by the product that we grow for them.

  2. Marci says:

    That baby has some serious cheeks for kissin’!!! 🙂 Adorable.

  3. PeterPansDad says:

    Moving East must have been a hard decision. I wish your family the very best.

    “Also by then there might be one or two more little ones for me to love.”
    Right on! One is a pet. Two is the start of a family. You haven’t multiplied till you get to 3…then you’re just getting warmed up. Fill that quiver! (Psalm 127:4-5)

    “My willingness to do what God asks of me, even if it goes against what is socially acceptable.”

    I could go on at length but, like you, I want a full measure of blessing whatever the social cost…not that it’s easy.