Know Your Farmer: Fisheye Farms
Meet Andy Chae and Amy Eckert of Fisheye Farms in Detroit! Andy and Amy started their urban farm in 2015 in Detroit’s West Village, and they have since expanded to Pontiac and Detroit’s Core City. Most of their production today is at their Core City location. Fisheye Farms uses organic and sustainable practices to ensure they are growing the healthiest produce for their community members.
“The Simple Joys and Pleasures of Farming”
Andy and Amy both started farming in Chicago while they were in college. When asked why he was drawn to farming, Andy said, “we were driven to farm for environmental reasons at first, and then also the social positive impacts we could make with urban farming. While we still hold these values dear, we also just love the simple joys and pleasures of farming.” Although their urban farming journey started in Chicago, they decided to start their own farm in Detroit due to the close proximity to family. Originally from Waterford, Andy knew that being close to family would help balance the demanding job of starting their own farm.
Being located in the heart of downtown Detroit can also present unique opportunities for urban farmers. Recently, a few Detroit Fire Fighters dropped off some decommissioned hose to Fisheye Farms. Andy and Amy are going to experiment with the hose as a way to hold down row cover, replacing the sandbags they currently use. Another exciting addition to their farm this year is a high tunnel, which will allow them to grow some crops like root veggies and salad mix in the winter! Andy and Amy are also experimenting with growing some grains like rice and winter rye on a personal scale. While they don’t have any plans to sell these in the near future (that would take a lot of land!), they think it’s cool that they can grow some of these staples to support their diet from their own farm.
For the adults out there, join Fisheye Farms on Wednesdays from 6-8 pm for “Wine and Weeding” open house. Help out with the never-ending task of weeding their Core City farm (2334 Buchanan St, Detroit) in exchange for free wine. This is a great way to get to know your farmers! If you join them, they also have a small farm stand where you can purchase some of Fisheye Farms’ in-season goodies. Right now, salad mixes and small root crops are their best sellers. They also grow a lot of cabbage and crops like Eggplant and Peppers that do well in hot temperatures, and they have also developed a little niche in selling edible flowers and herbs.
In addition to stopping by their farm stand during Wine & Weeding, you can also enjoy these delicious crops from Fisheye Farms at several restaurants in the Detroit Area like Selden Standard, Gold Cash Gold, Supino’s Pizzeria, Lady of The House, FOLK, Rose’s Fine Food, Marrow, and Voyager Ferndale. Learn more about Fisheye Farms at www.fisheyefarms.com, and follow their story at @fisheyefarms on Instagram and Facebook!
Julia Linder is the Communications & Events intern for Taste the Local Difference. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org