Tucked away on an 11-acre farm in Columbiana County in Northeast Ohio sits the new Dandelion Lane Farm, owned by Air Force veteran Lee Lichtenwalner and his wife, Dawn. Lee and Dawn spent nearly two decades raising their family in Las Vegas, Nevada, and always looked for an escape route. In 2007, Lee’s brother, Frank, a Navy retiree, invited them out to visit for a weekend on President’s Day weekend.

Lee & Dawn Lichtenwalner-croppedThey stopped at a local grocer and picked up a “Homes Magazine” and flipped through it. They saw two properties that peaked their interest, and in the snow persuaded a realtor to show them a property. It was love at first sight. Months later they owned the property, and two years afterward they moved to Ohio.

It wasn’t until 2013 that Dandelion Lane Farm took root. Lee and Dawn grew a variety of herbs and vegetables, specializing in heirloom products. They used their products, added other local fruits and spices, and created delicious value-added products. This led to more research and exploration, and Dandelion Lane Farm became a brand and started developing a local following. After months of doing farmers markets in Northeast Ohio and selling their products to locals and business owners alike, they decided to take the next logical step. Effective January 2, 2014, Lee is walking away from his Federal job and devoting his full-time attention, experience, and true passion to Dandelion Lane Farm.

In addition to a twenty-year Air Force history, Lee worked as a software systems analyst for the Department of Energy and a decade working for the US Treasury Department. Lee has an AA in Logistics, BS in Information Systems, and an Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA). Dawn Lichtenwalner has nearly 25 years in the food business industry; her experience includes working as a commercial baker & cake decorator, office manager for a large Nevada-based food broker, and as a caterer. Combined, they have over 50 years management and supervisor experience.

2014 is going to be an astonishing year for Dandelion Lane Farm! Plans call for construction of an 1800 square foot high tunnel, 2100 square foot multi-purpose building, and expansion of their produce operation by nearly 300 percent. They have plans in work for a conducting an intensive intern education program and hope to bring military veterans on board for some custom education and training. They are also designing a hydroponic system large enough to support three restaurants. Their motto? Grow Local–Buy Local–Eat Local–Live Local!