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A health crisis shook the life of founder Crystal Manuel which led her and husband Jody, on an exciting educational agrarian adventure.  

As they researched, they began to make the correlation between organic practices and wellness, which ultimately resulted in the transitional journey of their farm & ranch.

Farmer in a light blue plaid shirt kneels in a field of ripe Emmer as his happy wife looks over his shoulder at the grain in his hands

The vitality of their landscape began its reawakening through the introduction of regenerative organic practices and holistic herd management. While on the hunt for good help that understood the importance of maintaining organic practices, the serendipitous day came when the Manuel family would meet their new family friend, Brei Reisman.



Good Times

Brei and her family moved 1700 miles to live and work at Prairie Grass ranch for over 3 years. During this time their friendship grew through the mutual love of experimenting with delicious family meals, desire to teach the importance of understanding that food is medicine, and creating time and space for their families to adventure together. All of their notes and ideas were kept in a sacred ideas notebook. 

A significant life shift separated the friends. Brei and her family moved across the nation far away from the slower agrarian lifestyle. For two years the friends stayed connected. Despite time and distance they continued to find ways to be a part of each other's lives. 

Two women in trucker hats and a man in a hat face the camera smiling. Subjects sitting at a small diner
Two girls spoon a heap of grits on their plate at a gritogether

A Crazy World

During the pandemic of 2020, the friends reunited  at the ranch to wait and see what would happen while the world seemed so unsure. Due to the complicated circumstances of the pandemic, the two families were having to feed 9 children collectively without the convenience of running to the grocery store at whim. It was during this time that another idea was added to the notebook… Maybe, just maybe, they could take their love of healthy food, education and adventure and bring others along to discover all the delicious ways that ancient grains can add value to mealtime.

Eight children sit eating around a large wooden dining table.

In 2021, the Manuel‘s transitioned their crops to Regenerative Organic and Gruff was born! Gruff utilizes the premium ancient grains grown on their farm, which they coarse crack into nutrient rich, versatile grits. Welcome to the Renaissance of ancient grains!

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“Like you, we’ve been on a journey. Thankfully we’ve come to realize that some of life’s richest blessings are birthed through difficult circumstances. Gruff was created to celebrate all that we’ve learned about wellness, regenerative organic farming, and whole foods.”


The Bears Paw Mountains in late summer.
Water ripples over a fresh water creek in northern Montana.




Jody has been farming organically since 2007. In Jody’s office hangs a plaque that reads, “Why the Hell not?”. This is a great picture of this renegade farmers perspective on pioneering farming in a the current era with Regenerative Agricultural Practices.




Crystal has spent 20 years passionately educating her community and beyond about the benefits of introducing real, organic food into delicious every day meals. Her greatest joy is leading others through a wellness journey that leads to positive life change.




Brei has been an advocate of organic food for 15 years.  It started at Whole Foods in Little Rock and led her to the fields of Montana where she was introduced to the robust organic growing community. She has spent the past five years marketing for purpose driven Montana brands.

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