Next to Nature Farm is located in northeast Kansas, in between Lawrence and Kansas City. We are a small family farm committed to offering all of our products in their most natural form. Next to Nature Farm strives to ensure a line of the highest quality products with an environmentally friendly focus. The farm is owned by Chad and Megan Gilliland. However, this farm operation is a family adventure and everyone pitches in including our 15-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son!
In 2012, Chad wanted a few bee hives to pollinate his 80-apple-tree-orchard. This simple interest in pollination grew from an interest, to a hobby, to a full-time passion in just a few short years. After he began harvesting honey, he asked Megan if she could think of something to do with all of the beeswax leftover from harvesting honey. Megan's always been enthusiastic about using essential oils -- and our first product, Healing Salve, was developed. Since then, Chad and Megan have worked together to develop natural, handmade products that benefit our customers.
Our Farm Philosophy
Every customer is important to us and we strive to achieve complete customer satisfaction. An unhappy customer is a lost customer.
We have chosen not to use standard pesticides and take a “chemical free” approach with each and every one of our products. For example, in our fruit orchard for insect and disease control, we utilize pheromone and sticky traps for insect pest control, coupled with the use of soft products like horticultural oils and soaps. With regards to disease pressure, we have designed our orchard with the mindset of planting only fruit tree varieties with strong disease resistance.
With our flock of laying hens, we don’t incorporate the use of antibiotics for disease control or standard insecticides for parasite control. Instead incorporating the use of natural remedies such as apple cider vinegar, anise extract, sauerkraut, and pumpkin. Our laying hens are offered a fenced in pasture area to range and feed on vegetation and insects. With heavy predator pressure from coyotes and neighboring dogs, we have had to make adjustments and fence in our flock in a large 75’X 75” enclosure. This allows us to offer as close to a “free-range” option as possible with the laying flock having full access to a rotational crop of seeded grasses and other native vegetation and a wide complement of insects. This management practice offers us a healthy supply of farm fresh eggs with beautiful dark yellow-orange yolks that have a wonderful flavor and are such better quality than factory-farmed eggs from the grocery store.
Our passion for honey bees started in 2013 when we added 2 beehives to our farm to support the pollination of our farm’s fruit tree orchard. Fast forward to 2016 and we have currently 20 hives that supply us with a bounty of honey and beeswax that is used in many of our bee related products that we make.
We operate using sustainable methods. What does that mean to you? We are not Certified USDA Organic; however, the methods we utilize to produce our products for market are beyond the standard the government sets for certification. With our small family owned business, we have focused our limited resources on producing high quality products rather than the time, money, and effort to pursue certification. We have found over the years, our customers consistently comment on our high quality line of products.
We accept visits to our farm by appointment only and invite our customers to tour our farm and see for themselves how production on any of our products starts - and how they are maintained till harvest.