Aunt Sue’s Barn expands farming techniques with TWU microgrant
Farming is an expensive, time consuming and laborious endeavor, but for Sue Newhouse, owner of Aunt Sue’s Barn, there is nothing she would rather be doing. Thanks to a $5,000 microgrant from the Center for Women in Business, the work has gotten a little easier and the rewards a little sweeter.
“First and foremost, we to do this work because we love it,” says Newhouse, who runs the small family farm with her husband. “We love the experience, the variety, watching the changes in the land and the plants, the trees and the wildlife that moves through with the seasons. All of it. It's a tremendous blessing to be able to be part of it all.”
Aunt Sue’s Barn grows several berry crops in both field and greenhouse environments as well as peaches, asparagus and some flowers. They also produce several products, including preserves, cobblers and berry-infused apple cider vinegar, which are sold at local farmer’s markets. In addition, they host a variety of events at the farm throughout the year.
The business has been doing well, but Newhouse found a way to increase efficiency and expand her crops by using the TWU microgrant to help purchase a BCS853 walk-behind tractor. The tractor creates raised beds more easily and quickly than doing it by hand.
“With the use of this equipment, I anticipate we can add additional seasonal flowers we had not previously envisioned on the farm,” Newhouse says.
More crops means more labor is needed, and Newhouse has provided internships and volunteer opportunities for TWU and UNT students. She hopes to offer more in the future to keep the farming tradition alive for those interested in it.
“It takes continual research and education to farm, and exposing students to that is just the beginning of their education in what it takes to grow products,” she says. “Everyone can benefit from those skills, and we are hoping that our farm may become a place where students can come learn and practice skills they need and aid them down the road.”
About the Microgrant Program
The TWU Center for Women in Business’ Women’s Enterprise Training and Microgrant Program, now in its third year, helps women business owners—current or aspiring—to undertake new and innovative projects with a $5,000 grant. The grants are awarded once per year. For more information on the program, visit https://twu.edu/center-women-business/microgrants/
Page last updated 9:08 AM, May 31, 2019