About Us

Who We Are

Mars Family Farm is a family farm located in Andover and Grasston, MN and was founded by Shawn and Stephanie Mars. Both educators by trade, Shawn and Stephanie spend their time at home working on the farm with their two daughters, Josephine and Sophia.

What We Do

While we spend lots of time building our homestead, our pride and joy is raising our pigs with great care and love. They are pasture raised with no hormones and no antibiotics. They have unlimited food and water and are given clean dry straw for bedding. They have good shelter to keep them from the elements, rotate pasture, and they can come and go as they please.

How We Got Started

At Mars Family Farm we began building our homesteading lifestyle when we were able to purchase our 50 acre home in Andover, MN.  We always envisioned finding a way to live self-sufficiently and create a lifestyle where our daughters learn the value of hard work through agriculture. When we purchased our home, we had no experience in agriculture and had to decide how best to use our land. After considering what options we had, we decided to try raising pigs. We chose pigs because they’re very durable, self-sufficient, and can be raised in a short amount of time (as compared to cattle).

Like I said, we didn’t know what we were doing when we got started, so we tried making the infrastructure of our farm as flexible as possible. We purchased temporary electric fencing that worked off a solar powered energizer. This allowed us to easily change the location and size of our pastures as needed. We purchased some used grain bin panels and made quonset hut for the roof of their shelter and put hog panels around bales of straw for the end walls. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked and the pigs loved it. We went to the hardware store and purchased everything we need to add a sand point well and ran water to the quonset hut. Finally, we purchased 12 duroc piglets for our new farm and never looked back!

Why We Do It

We feel homesteading is about living a lifestyle which keeps our family grounded through meaningful work. We enjoy creating a life which allows us to live independently and appreciate the rewarding outcome from our hard work . To be successful on the homestead, one must develop grit, become competent in many skills, and accept the responsibility of caring for the land and animals. The day to day activities of homesteading is preparing our daughters to be exceptionally successful in life while forcing us to spend time together cooperatively. Having a homestead means we will always have a place for our family and enough provisions to take care of them. We can’t think of a better way to keep our family safe and together no matter what life brings us. It’s hard work, but we enjoy every day of it and thank God for a good life and bountiful harvests!