Jeff Steckbeck was raised around his grandfather's farm in Monroeville, Indiana. These collective experiences serve as Jeff's foundation and have given him a taste of farming at a young age. His grandfather grew corn, wheat and soybeans on 18.5 acres of land and spent time showing him how to plant, grow, harvest, hunt and most of all -- how to have patience.
His family moved to Florida and Jeff fondly remembers the many gardens he has built in the various backyards of their homes in Florida–once taking over about half of their backyard. Though these gardens were not cash cows, they gave Jeff that outlet he needed -- an opportunity to try farming himself -- to see what he could grow.
When he purchased The Ashby Grove property in early 2020, he was not sure what kind of farming he was going to do but knew that establishing a farm for his family to carry down generations to come was the goal. On November 19, 2020, Steckbeck settled on creating a Christmas tree farm, apple orchard, edible gardens and augmenting crop income with agritourism by serving farm to table dinners and farm experiences using the output of the farm. The Ashby Grove was then born.
Over the next two months, Steckbeck launched the website, begun mobile development and learned a lot about the agritourism industry. He learned that catering Farm to Table meals required deep culinary skills as well as farming skills. It required an experience with food service, preparation and serving which Steckbeck did not have. So, he begun a search to find an executive chef and found Chef Drew Day.
Now, Steckbeck believes he has the winning team assembled and ready to build The Ashby Grove into the darling of Ashby, MA. Guests will be able to not only taste the goodness of the farm on their plate, but also be able enjoy a carriage ride to their event, plant 5 Christmas trees of their own, enjoy an orchid on their lapel grown on the farm, canoe with their long lost sister on Sunday, take a walk around the apple orchid with their new family member or make amends with their father over a good game of tug-a-war -- Whatever they choose to do at The Ashby Grove -- they will be coming back to do it again.