Michael and Joanne Chissler Embrace Their Beautiful Oasis to Give Back to the Community

by | Sep 2023

MICHAEL AND JOANNE Chissler have found their slice of paradise on their 30-acre picturesque Valley View Farm. And their beloved farm has allowed them to share fresh produce with Manchester and surrounding communities. 

Originally from different parts of the Northeast, this charming couple’s paths crossed in Watertown, New York, where Michael, a self-proclaimed city boy, worked at a local McDonald’s. Love blossomed, and they eventually settled in Baldwinsville, New York, where they successfully owned and operated three McDonald’s restaurants. But their hearts yearned for something more — a life steeped in the serenity of nature.

Murfreesboro attracted them with its warm Southern charm, and the Chisslers, eager to embark on a new adventure, joined the reputable Cracker Barrel restaurants. Meanwhile, Joanne, a compassionate registered nurse, dedicated her time to caring for patients in hospitals and senior centers. 

But, their true haven awaited them after retiring three years ago — the captivating Valley View Farm. Michael recounted, “I just happened to be looking online and found this place in Manchester. Great farm. It’s about 30 acres. The previous owners had horses when we bought it. We fell in love with it, and in 2018, we bought the farm.” 

Joanne’s upbringing on a dairy farm in Evans Mills, New York, and Michael’s fondness for gardening as a child made it clear to them that life on the farm full time was their destiny. 

What the Chisslers cherish most about their newfound farm life is the freedom it brings. Their days are now filled with tending to bountiful gardens, embracing the sheer bliss of their 1 ½ acres, where butterflies dance in the air, and their beloved alpacas roam the land, delighting the locals. 

Feasting on the delicious, freshly picked fruits and vegetables they grow and sharing them with others contributes to their enjoyment.

“Our big garden allows us to eat fresh. And we use sustainable practices. We don’t use pesticides on the farm. Everything we have, we know what’s in it.” 

The Chisslers’ generosity doesn’t stop at their own table. They share their exceptional harvest with the community through various local markets at affordable prices. Their farm-fresh goods, lovingly grown, find their way to The Community Market in Manchester on Saturday mornings, the Tullahoma Farmers Market on Mondays, and the Locally Grown Market. 

They are committed to providing the finest quality produce, providing folks with a fresh, local, naturally grown alternative. 

Valley View Farms is more than just a labor of love for the Chisslers — it’s a multifaceted oasis they enjoy in numerous ways. Besides offering juicy red sliced tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, vibrant squash, and other products at the markets, Joanne tends to a beautiful herb garden and meticulously crafts flower arrangements from her flowers. 

The couple also warmly welcomes visitors, providing educational farm tours that highlight the remarkable alpacas, the true stars of the show. And let’s not forget their honorable livestock guard dog, Becky, who diligently protects their cherished alpaca companions. The Chisslers embrace their role as mentors, teaching the community about alpaca farming and the profound beauty of gardening, exemplified by their radiant butterfly garden.

When we started, one of our goals was to share our farm and experience with others. A lot of people don’t have a farm or the experience. So sharing that with others is one of those positive aspects. Whether it’s kids coming to the farm or adults just wanting to learn, that’s one part of how we positively impact the community.”

Joanne and Michael come from service backgrounds, having dedicated themselves to caring for others during their professional careers. Retirement only strengthened their determination to serve their community, leaving a mark on every heart they touched. Together, they embrace uncharted farming territory, growing and learning as they travel this pleasant path.

Michael expressed, “We’re just really enjoying the things we’re doing together.” 

Michael understands the importance of supporting and appreciating local farmers for their immense value to communities worldwide. And while reflecting on the meaning of harvest time, he can’t help but acknowledge the unwavering dedication and hard work required to tend to farms that yield the fruits and vegetables we enjoy. 

“It’s kind of that combination of all the hard work that we put in at the beginning of the year,” he explained. 

“So we plant, and we put healthy plants in good soil. We work hard all spring and summer to nurture, feed, and weed those plants. It’s the culmination of all our hard work throughout the season. It’s also time for us to reflect on how the year went and thank God for our harvest.” 

Michael continued, “And then now we can share the bountiful harvest. So, it’s a way for us to share and teach. And that’s what the harvest time means to me.” GN

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