"PLANTING SEEDS, PLOWING THROUGH THE DARKNESS"
Executive Director and FARMER
JONATHAN LAWLER- Jonathan, his wife, Amanda and three sons live Greenfield, Indiana. In addition to a career in the Transportation Industry Jonathan has also ran a vegetable production farm for several years. Jonathan credits his knowledge of vegetable farming to his Grandparents who operated a "truck garden" on their Indiana farm. Over the years, Jonathan and Amanda frequently donated produce to area food banks as a for profit farm. Upon learning of the vast and growing need for fresh produce, Jonathan decided he could greatly impact his community and Central Indiana by using the entirety of their farms production capabilities to grow produce specifically to address the issue of hunger.
Advisory Board Member- Director of Military/Veteran Outreach
GABE NIX- Gabe is a volunteer and supporter of Brandywine Creek Farms, believing in the mission and values of this cause. Gabe is a graduate of Indiana University Kelly School of Business and a veteran of the U.S. Army, deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Gabe owns Patriot Ventures, which seeks to train and employ veterans as a part of Patriot Insurance and Risk Management and Patriot Enterprise Solutions, offering IT consulting. Patriot Ventures is a certified disabled veteran owned small business. Gabe and his wife met in high school and have four young kids. He enjoys coaching youth sports, biking, and working outdoors.
Urban Farm Adviser
Mat Davis- Mathew is an urban farmer, community advocate and Food Justice Coordinator at Flanner House, a social service center on the north west side of Indianapolis. At Flanner House, he manages the largest urban farm in the state, a farmers market and community kitchen as apart of Flanner's Food Justice Initiatives. Mat, an Indianapolis native, has committed his work to creating opportunities for low income communities to develop sustainable and inclusive, local food systems.
OUR STORY In late 2015, Jonathan and Amanda Lawler began exploring the idea of turning their for profit farm into an organization that donates produce to the feeding the food insecure in their community. They realized the need for such an operation after speaking with numerous organizations in Central Indiana. After investing their personal finances into getting started, Jonathan and Amanda formed Brandywine Creek Farms. In our first season we grew 211 tons of produce, approximately 411,000 pounds. BCF then partnered with Gleaners Food Bank, Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen and The Flanner House of Indianapolis and other organizations to assist with distribution.
BCF FIRST GROWING SEASON In our first season we grew 211 tons of produce, approximately 411,000 pounds. BCF partnered with Gleaners Food Bank, Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen and The Flanner House of Indianapolis. BCF opened the farm to our first Annual Planting Day and invited the community out to help plant the first crops of the season. BCF was honored to have HANCOCK REGIONAL HOSPITAL sponsor our 2016 growing season, allowing for numerous members of the community to be served. BCF hosted their first Annual Harvest Celebration, inviting the community to participate in a variety of activities including a hayride, pumpkin patch, bounce house and farm tour. All the activities were free.
UPCOMING SEASON In 2017 our goal is one million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables produced by BCF. We have acquired additional acreage and have partnered with Flanner House of Indianapolis to create the largest urban farm in the state feeding the Northwest Side Food Desert. Stay tuned as more information about 2017 coming soon!
Director of Volunteer Outreach
AMANDA LAWLER- Amanda grew up on a large farm in Central Ohio where her love of farm life was cultivated. She was an avid 4-H'er and won numerous awards with livestock. After receiving a degree in counseling and biblical studies from Word of Life Bible Institute, she spent the next two summers counseling youth at two faith based organizations located in Upstate NY and in Hagerstown, MD. Amanda also studied art and design at The Ohio State University and hopes eventually to incorporate her appreciation of art into an "art as therapy" program at BCF. Her role as director of Volunteer Outreach allows her to pursue a passion of ministering to youth, connecting them to the beauty of outdoors while learning about farm life and, most of all, the joy of giving back to their community.
Advisory Board Member- President
KEELY BUTRUM- Keely was born and raised in Greenfield where she currently resides with her husband, Brandon, and step-daughter, Ally. She has worked for 12 years in the business of providing financial guidance to families, businesses, and non-profits. Keely is a hobby gardener and regularly involved with non-profit efforts, but when asked why partnering with Brandywine Creek Farms is so important to her, Keely elaborated, “Local food insecurity is a major issue being addressed by Brandywine Creek, but it doesn’t stop there. If your passion is to help veterans, there are veteran programs at Brandywine Creek. If your personal focus is at risk youth, there are unparalleled opportunities being offered to turn teen lives around at BCF. If you are concerned about childhood obesity and health education, here is an amazing channel to make a real difference on the issue. Even if you just wish to endow your own children with the skills and knowledge to grow food and feed themselves in the most healthy and economic way possible, come on out for that too and you will be doing good for others while also doing good for your family! The work being done here is a blanket of solutions over so many needs. You are helping further than you knew you could reach with each volunteer visit or dollar.
Advisory Board Member- Major Gifts
Steve Boles- Steve was born and raised in Indianapolis. After graduating from Ball State University with a degree in Special Education, he founded Mark 2 Ministries with a vision to encourage and equip the local church in the area of disability ministry. That outreach grew over 25 years to include staff in 12 countries, and continues today in reaching hundreds of churches and thousands of Deaf, Blind, Physically Disabled, Mentally Impaired, and Autistic individuals for Christ. Steve turned over the reins of that ministry to local leadership in each of those countries a few yearsago, yet continues to be involved with each of them as a mentor and friend.