Kate, owner and operator of Arise & Shine Gardens, grew up on a farm, but joined the U.S. Marine Corps when she was 18 in an attempt to escape the small-town life, gain viable work skills and receive an education without a mountain of debt upon graduation.
Kate served in the military for 6 years and graduated with her Paralegal Studies degree shortly before being honorably discharged. She would spend the next 30 plus years working for lawyers until one day, a little boy changed it all and turned her world upside down…Kate’s first grandson was born in late 2016. Kate had always intended to return to the land in retirement, but her work situation had become unfulfilling and the words she preached to her children their entire lives growing up were coming back to haunt her. And what was that now convicting advice? Always follow your heart and do what you love.
It was the mere arrival of this beautiful little boy that convinced his Nana that it was time to practice what she preached. Kate took a step of faith and applied for and was accepted to a 2-year Veteran to Farmer apprenticeship program at Turner Farm located in Cincinnati. While at Turner Farm, Kate learned the in’s and out’s of operating an organic farm and was given access to a plot of land to give her dream of owning a farm a trial run.
Although the apprenticeship program’s primary goal was for veterans to decide if farming was a career path worth pursuing, Kate already knew the answer to that question. Her time at Turner Farm was to prove to herself, and maybe a few doubters, that she had what it would take to follow her dream.
It was upon successful completion of the intern program that Arise & Shine Gardens was officially born. It wasn’t always easy, but every day it has been worth it. Kate often shares that no matter how bad a day she may have had on the farm, it has always been at least a 100 times better than any of her best days at the corporate office.