Humble Hands Harvest is a worker-owned co-operative farm. We grow 2+ acres of organic vegetables, grass-finished sheep, pastured pork, and fruit and nut trees. We distribute at the Winneshiek Farmers Market in Decorah; and through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program for both our veggies and our meat. We found our long-term home in 2017 on Hidden Falls Road, 10 miles from Decorah, on ancestral Sauk, Meskwaki, Lakota, and Ho-chunk land, and began functioning as a worker-owned co-operative that same year.
Humble Hands Harvest practices un-conventional, organic, visionary, slow-growing agriculture. We strive to create a resilient landscape that grounds a vibrant local culture.
Humble Hands Harvest is the first enterprise on a piece of land that we hope to grow into a perennial polyculture commons – where a wide diversity of tree crops produce year after year, animals happily graze, vegetables are abundant through the seasons, and the soil is fertile and teeming with life. We are committed to regenerative agriculture that feeds our community, improves the soil, and connects people intimately to the food that we eat, and so to this piece of our earth.
We are young women: unconventional on the Iowa farm scene, to say the least. We’re grounded in this landscape and driven to make a difference in this place. Get to know us more:
Hannah Breckbill grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. She’s been farming since 2009 when she interned as a CSA manager at World Hunger Relief outside of Waco, Texas. She moved to Decorah, Iowa in 2010 to work at Rock Spring Farm and was part of Land Stewardship Project’s Farm Beginnings and Journeyperson programs where she crafted a vision (and a business plan!) for her farm. She has also participated in LSP’s racial justice and community organizing cohorts. After a brief stint at Seed Savers Exchange, she founded Humble Hands Harvest in 2013. Hannah participated in the Savings Incentive Program with Practical Farmers of Iowa and now works as a trainer for their “Labor 4 Learning” program. She serves on the board of the Iowa Food Hub and the Women, Food and Agriculture Network, and she volunteers as a facilitator for Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education for all ages. Besides loving growing things very very much, Hannah plays upright bass with klezmer/Balkan band Martiza and an up-and coming bluegrass band, Squirrel Tail. She is queer (instagram @queerdirt), a 4-part harmony-singing Mennonite, and spends her winters dreaming, working as a Land Access Navigator, building community, and organizing for climate resilience.
Emily Fagan‘s vegetable growing experience began in high school in Iowa City when her parents so generously let her dig up half of the backyard and fill it with too many beets and other experiments. She took a step away from the soil to get a degree in physics, but returned to it immediately after graduation, to be a garden educator at Zenger Farm in Portland, OR. From there she interned at Cure Organic Farm in Boulder, CO, before returning to Iowa to work at Patchwork Green Farm in Decorah. There she reunited with Hannah (the two are second cousins!) and decided to join her farm in 2017. So excited to be back in her home state in such a welcoming community, she put down roots and is here to stay. What better way to fuel the vibrant place of Decorah than with beautiful cabbages, glowing carrots, and adorable eggplants? When she’s not in the fields, you’ll find her eating vegetables, throwing pots at the Clay Studio, singing in the Decorah Chorale, and working on art projects.
Emily Spangler grew up in Janesville, WI. After graduating from UW-Whitewater with a degree in Sociology, she found a job at Roots Down Community Farm in Milton,WI learning the many ropes of organic farming. After 1.5 seasons, she headed into the realm of public libraries, where she would stay for the next three years. In tandem with Roots Down and beyond, Emily worked at Basics Cooperative, a food co-op, where she has been employed on and off since 2012. In the summer of 2019, the fields began to call her back to them as she helped a friend with planting for his new CSA farm, Upbeet Produce in Evansville, WI. That experience led to Emily seeking a full-time farm job. After a few Google searches, she found Humble Hands Harvest and the rest is history! Emily identifies as queer. In her free time, she enjoys hiking/foraging, reading, playing guitar, and writing poetry.