Faces at the Farm

Jeff and Melissa Roessing / Founders & Co-Directors (& Grunt)

Jeff and Melissa founded Eighth Day Farm in 2010. They now serve as co-directors of the organization who implement the program work out of the Growth Center.

Melissa graduated from Grand Valley State University with her MSW, practiced social work at Hospice of Holland for six years, was director of the Reciprocal Language Partnership and is currently serving as the Stabilization Services Supervisor (Food Pantry) and CHP case manager at Community Action House. The only thing she enjoys more than fellowship is fellowship around good food.

Jeff received his bachelors at Grand Valley State University where he studied History and Sociology and then his Master of Divinity from Western Theological Seminary. He likes to tell people that he started his undergrad studying biology and art and with the farm has come full circle. An urban farm captures the intersection of his passions: economic justice, ecological stewardship, manual labor, art, and community development. But he insists that the passion buttressing all these passions is the unique promise of the gospel of Jesus.

Together Jeff and Melissa are blessed to raise their three kids- Tsepo, Naomi and McKenna- in a supportive and vibrant community in downtown Holland on 18th Street.

Kyle VanEerden / Farm Manager

2017 is Kyle’s fifth season with Eighth Day and his second managing the CSA out of the Holland Town Center. Kyle graduated from Trinity Christian College in December 2012 with a degree in Sociology and Theology, but quickly realized that his real passion is playing in the soil. He now lives at Hope College where he works as a Resident Director.

Brooke Wolters / Assistant Farm Manager

Brooke is entering into her second season at Eighth Day as assistant manager at the Urban CSA. She started working at Eighth Day following her graduation from Hope College in May 2016 with a degree in social work. She has a past working in greenhouses, food banks, and low-cost housing initiatives, where she discovered her interest in food justice and community development. Farming at Eighth Day has not only fulfilled her need for manual labor, but it’s taught her how soil structures relate to social structures, and the very real, human-need for potluck suppers. When she’s not at the farm, you can find her barista-ing at Lemonjello’s Coffee or among Michigan’s waters, dunes, and forests. She will be attending University of Michigan in September 2017 to pursue her MSW in hopes to study the interface of farming, community, and social systems.”

The Board of Directors

Peter Christensen

“I love the Earth and I know that God has called all of us to care for it. I believe that we need to feed our souls with God’s truth and our bodies with wholesome food. The more we are connected to the Earth and each other, the more we can bring the Kingdom.

I work as a Family Physician to bring people back to full health, and I work with Eighth Day Farm to bring a better source of nutritious food to all people in Holland.

My marriage and family keep me rooted in the real and daily work of God, and I find joy in helping Eighth Day keep the roots of many plants growing.”

Carter Baer

Carter moved back to his hometown in 2007 after a decade of teaching elementary school in New York City. He was eager to dig up some backyard and plant a garden. He got to know Jeff from neighborhood friends and he and his family joined the Eighth Day CSA the year it started. He works as a speech therapist for West Ottawa schools and has served on the farm’s board since 2014.

Chris Bohle

Chris grew up without many veggies in the house, so the whole “real food” thing is a newer concept to him. Especially bok choy.  He’s an expert on how to not be a food expert.  Despite that, he loves the mission of Eighth Day and what they do for the community. The farm has made a big impact on his life!  He also works at Hope College and is married with two awesome boys. “We care about our community and want to be a change agent in a fallen world.”  Oh, and he’s an 8w9 if you know anything about the Enneagram.

Elyse Cisler

Elyse was introduced to 8th Day Farm as a CSA member and quickly connected with the staff, volunteers and other CSA members as being a people passionate about healthy, local food. Her family’s exposure in their first year as CSA members helped dramatically change the way they ate and sparked a journey of Elyse’s love for cooking. Recently, she launched a blog called “Healthier Holland” where she writes about food-related topics and helps inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle.

Elyse is a 1st-3rd grade Montessori teacher at Black River Public School in Holland. She serves on Consistory at Fellowship Reformed Church. Elyse loves cooking, running, and traveling the world with her husband. Her favorite food is carrots. While she has gotten creative with recipes that include kale, rutabaga, and bok choy, she is still seeking after the elusive okra recipe that her friends and family will eat.

Andy Krino

Andy Krino lives in Holland’s core city with his wife, Traci and boys, Arlo and Eli. They became acquainted with Eighth Day Farm in 2011 and have been members ever since. Growing food has always been a love of the Krinos even when they were not able to carve out time or space in their lives. Most recently they have been faithful to their desire to plant, grow, preserve, hunt, gather and share as much food as they can. For them it is a way to live into a just, healthy and less violent way of being. And in doing these comes the way of education for their children.

In 2011 Andy joined the board of Eighth Day Farm. His education as an artist and skills as a builder has helped to serve his primary roll in planning and building infrastructure on the farm sites. To Andy, all creating is essentially the same. You begin with inspiration and a to need make something, whether it be beauty, music, or healing. Then you get up, throw some things together, say a littler prayer and “voila” you’ve got art or shelter or food. And, these are things that, when shared, are beneficial to all.