Farm Staff

Trent Thompson (Farmer)

Though initially interested in Agroforestry work through the Peace Corps after graduating from Michigan State, I fell in love with farming while interning/working on farms out West. Returning to my hometown of Battle Creek in 2008, I found the opportunity to educate and share the need for local, naturally-grown produce with our community by establishing Green Gardens. Farming is my passion. With the amazing support of customers, family, friends, and fellow farmers, Green Gardens became a reality and continues to expand its relationships throughout our community.

The business has grown from two markets on 1.5 acres in 2008 to three farmers markets, 250 CSA members, several wholesale accounts, and a bi-weekly on-farm market in 2017. The core of the business - growing good healthy food for people, treating the land and the customers with respect - has stayed the same.

One of my greatest joys is witnessing the growth of our employees as workers and human beings. Many of them have started farm businesses or want to have them in the future. We hope that Green Gardens provided them a little bit of knowledge and skills to make them more successful in business and in life. 

Ruthie Thompson (Farmer)

Summer 2008 led me to the Richland Farmers’ Market, where I ended up trading celery for Trent’s leftover sunflowers. The following spring, I started my route to Farmer by agreeing to a farm visit – and 9 years later, I’m still here, enjoying my life as a farmer’s wife, Mama, co-owner, CEO of Marketing, and Chef Extraordinaire, all the while drumming up a passion in all of our wonderful customers for a continued love of healthy, local eating.

Green Gardens Staff Page

2014 Crew Photoed (Trent, Scottie, Hristina, Stephan (Hristina's brother visiting from Macedonia), Dylan, and Devon).

Our crew is the backbone of the farm. We could not do all the work and feed as many mouths as we feed without the commitment and dedication of our staff. Green Gardens employees are kind, hard-working, and honest. We value the work that they do and make a strong effort to compensate them as well as we can afford for their efforts.

Past crew members have started their own farms, including Kelly Vallelunga (2008) of Long Valley Farms, Clay Smith (2009-2011) of Earthsmith Farms, and Devon Wilson (2014) of Sunlight Gardens.

Kelly, 2009First employee, Kelly V., washing eggplant in 2008.

Clay, the builder, designing our second mobile Chicken Coop. He's now raising pork at Earthsmith Farms in Dowling, MI.

Dylan Ellis (2012-2016) still helps out with market at the farm on Sundays but is now working with his father learning the construction trade.

A young Dylan Ellis (without the hippie look!) picking our famous Sun Gold tomatoes in 2014.

Scottie Petrovski (2014) is now Operations Manager at Fresh Solutions Farm at Walther Potato Farms.

Scottie P making the beets sparkle with a smile.

Scotties's wife, Hristina Petrovska (2014), still works the Green Gardens' stand on Saturdays in Kzoo. She is currently working on her nutrition degree at Western Michigan University while also working at the People's Food Co-op of Kzoo.

Always a smile and positive, Hristina.