Jake is a native of Harmony, PA. As a kid he grew up in the woods surrounding his house. His father Gregg and mother Debbie made sure that he had a deep connection to the natural world. Jake was 6 months old the first time he was sleeping in a tent on a camping trip. Gregg Kristophel built cedar strip canoes and paddles so Jake spent a lot of time on the water. Debbie said he could identify every bird on the 5 Audobon posters in his room before he was able to talk. His parents taught him the simple life of growing a large garden, keeping livestock, and putting up food for the winter. His formative years were spent hunting, fishing, backpacking, and canoeing. In more recent years, Jake was the head brewer at Full Pint Brewing in North Versailles, PA. Jake and Desiree attended the Mother Earth News Fair where they began to realize the importance of food security, supporting local and being self sustainable. Their passion led them to apply their ecology and permaculture knowledge to create a small homestead farm before they founded Fallen Aspen Farm. The jump from brewing into farming was to leave the rat race behind and lead a more simple fulfilling life. While not on the farm, they continue to work with Gregg and Debbie as woodworkers at Riverwood Trading Co.
Desiree is a native of Providence, RI. She grew up with zero connection to where her food came from and a deep love for animals.It wasn’t until she moved to Pittsburgh and started working in the natural foods industry that she realized how broken our food system was, specifically when it came to meat production and animal welfare. This had a huge impact and Desiree stopped consuming meat or dairy, started growing a small garden and began canning and preserving. With every year that passed she became more interested in Homesteading and becoming more self sufficient, It was a perfect storm when she met Jake in 2011 and the two of them started Fallen Aspen Farm in 2012. They began raising livestock soon thereafter with the intention of changing the system from within through thoughtful management, humane and respectful handling and consumer education. Her main role on the farm is to see to it that every animal is well cared for, healthy and content.