Chewy's Backyard Farm is the fulfillment of the lifelong dreams of Dave and Katie Bridges. So who is Chewy? Well, Chewy is Dave and Katie's miniature schnauzer. Chewy believes if he can see it, then it is his yard. One day he was staring out the kitchen window surveying his land. So when Dave and Katie decided to farm the backyard it only made sense to call it Chewy's Backyard Farm.
In 2021, we sold our 1.5-acre farm to buy a 28-acre farm. In just three years we had outgrown our land. More land means more varieties of fruits and veggies to bring to market. We also became a SNAP approved market meaning we can accept SNAP benefits from our customers.
Dave grew up in the foothills of the Appalachia Mountains, the southeast part of Kentucky. Dave's grandparents, Eugene (Poppy) and Violet Smith (Nanny) had a small 75-acre farm, which they raised tobacco, cattle, hogs, and one huge garden. One of his first memories was when Poppy brought home a John Deere 830 tractor.
Though he was in diapers, for some reason this was the first thing that drew him to agriculture. He has many fond memories of riding in Poppy's lap while disc harrowing the fields and going with him to cut hay. All through middle school and high school, Dave was actively involved in Future Farmers of America, which shaped him still to this day.
Sadly in 1989, Poppy passed away, and even though Nanny tried to keep the farm in the family, Dave was unable to purchase the farm and continue farming on family land. This set back didn't stop Dave's dream.
Dave always had a drive to serve, and in 1991 he joined the United States Air Force, in which he spent the next 25 years of his life. He travelled all over the world during this time, ultimately bringing him to Dobbins, AFB in Marietta GA.
Katie grew up in Kansas. Her family has been farmers for generations. She spent many summers with her grandmother picking gooseberries and watching the tractors plant wheat, beans and corn. While she can quickly kill a house plant, she can grow one pretty tomato and hot jalapeños. Dave and Katie's paths crossed on a fateful day in 2002 and the rest is history.