The Dysinger family roots run deep in Middle Tennessee. Our father was born in Bon Aqua – less than 20 miles away. After a career as a globe-trotting public health physician, he and our mother decided to return to his roots and retire in Hickman County.
Our mother had definite ideas about the kind of place she wanted to live, and was not easily satisfied in the realty hunt. Finally, they providentially came across their dream farm: 192 acres of woods, fields, hills, springs, streams and lake! What they were thinking to do with 192 acres in retirement, we’re not sure, but it exceeded all our mother’s requirements and the price was right, so a deal was made (this was in 1991). God had a plan for this place!
Then began the ambitious task of “wooing” the family to the farm. At the time the property was purchased, Edwin’s family was doing community development work in Tanzania, John’s family was teaching in Kenya, our other brother, Wayne and his family were practicing Medicine in Guam, and our sister Janelle was living in Maryland (apparently we all got some of those globe-trotting genes). The idea of moving to the farm seemed quaint, but very unrealistic. But, reality can change quickly!
Through many providential circumstances, John and family ended up on the farm in 1995, Janelle and family moved to the area in 1998, and Edwin and family arrived in 2006. Wayne and family are still holding out in Southern California.
The idea of actually “farming” the farm only came about in 1998 when John was searching for a way to be more home-based and involved in his growing family. A family farm seemed idealistic, but could it really work? Most said “no”, but God said “yes”! So Bountiful Blessings Farm germinated in the Fall of 1998.
We started out as a strawberry farm and learned lots those first few years in the “school of hard knocks.” By 2003, we believed we were poised and ready to “make it big.” We thought we had graduated with our degree in hard knocks and were ready to finally “get it all together.” That spring we had the largest and best strawberry crop ever. Two days into the berry season, it began to rain, and it didn’t let up until 3/4 of our crop had rotted on the vines. We were devastated both economically and emotionally.
But, God provided a way out! He impressed us with the need to diversify and pointed us in the direction of a Winter CSA. With the help and encouragement of our amazing customers, we started our first CSA that Fall. Now we began a whole new learning curve!
The first year was successful enough to make us want to try it again. Each year got a little better. The customers were pleased and we began to settle into our new niche.
By 2006, we had learned enough to know what didn’t work and were beginning to get a grasp on what did. So, when Edwin, Jennifer, and family arrived that summer, with an infusion of new blood and capital, we were able to begin much needed expansion with clear direction. What a blessing it was to have more heads, hands, and hearts together on the farm!
Since then the farm has grown slowly but steadily – each year building on the failures and successes of the year before. We have also been helped through generous funding from the TN Dept of Agriculture’s Producer Diversification Program.
The future looks bright at Bountiful Blessings! We have truly been blessed both by the trials and the triumphs. Edwin and Jennifer’s married daughter moved here in 2007. With her children, we now have 4 generations living, working, and playing together on this family farm.
We are never sure what the next page of our farm history will say, but whatever happens, we would like you to be a part of it! We invite you to grow with us as our farm matures.