Meet Carmen and Sherri, the mother-daughter duo behind the beautiful blooms from Piggly Petals Flowers Farm! Piggly Petals was established just last year in 2018. Together, Carmen and Sherri grow both annuals and perennials on their Belleville farm.
Neither Carmen nor Sherri ever imagined they would once be flower farmers.
MMeet the crew at Nature & Nurture Seeds! Together with volunteers and interns, co-founders of Nature & Nurture Seeds Erica Kempter and Mike Levine run their organic and sustainably-grown seed company out of their Dexter farm.
Meet Corey Standen of Standen Acres in Alpena! On their 40-acre farm, Corey, his wife, Carrie, and their two kids raise pigs on pasture. Standen Acres use a rotational grazing system to ensure the health of their land and animals.
Michigan peaches are a tasty treat that brighten up any snack, meal, or dessert. The peak growing season for peaches in Michigan begins in July and carries through September, making them a fresh option in the summer and fall. Peaches can also be frozen or canned and stored to enjoy throughout the year.
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.
Meet Steve DuCheney of Saskatoon Michigan Farm! “Saskatoon” Steve grows mostly Saskatoon berries and a few Honeyberries on his farm in Williamsburg, Michigan.
Open Sky Organic Farm is a certified organic farm four miles from Cross Village, Michigan. Together, Sam and Susan Sharp produce a variety of flowers, herbs, and vegetables, including garlic, snap peas, and spring mix.
Sam and Susan put their roots down in Northern Michigan years ago because of their love for the land, seasonal changes, and the people. Susan says the pace of life up north just resonated with them. The two of them started farming several years ago while Susan was still teaching. She has since retired, and this is their third year farming their land near Cross Village. The 10-acre piece used to be an old fallow hay field, whose soil had been left stripped and in need of some TLC. Susan and Sam went to work building their soil and bringing life back to the property, and they now have four acres in production.
Mighty Soil Farm is a small organic farm run by Kate Debs and Joe Newman in the Upper Peninsula town of Chatham. They pack a punch on their ¾-acre parcel, where they grow about forty vegetables, including staples like carrots, tomatoes, and salad greens.
This summer, I was the catering manager for Rock River Farm, a flower farm in the central U.P. They are focusing their efforts on flower production, so they don’t need my services in 2019. After being asked a few times if I’m sad they are done catering, here’s the truth: I’m stoked to see farms find their niche. This said, I will be going back next summer in the same way I got started there: as a volunteer who is in it for the beautiful drive, lack of cell service, the company and inspiration they provide.
For me, food has always been a source of connection, a tool to communicate love, and a way to pass on family traditions. Some of my most vivid memories involve shared meals and many dishes are connected to specific loved ones in my mind. For example, my mom is chicken, rice, and carrots, whereas my dad is graham crackers dipped in milk. Apple pie and sharp cheddar cheese bring to mind my grandmother. The foods we made on our first date, kimchi and sauerkraut are my partner. These dishes provide comfort and a reminder to slow down.
Food has always been an important part of my life; however, it wasn’t until I studied abroad in Italy that I really fell in love. We toured a Parmigiano Reggiano facility, learned about Balsamico di Modena on a small family farm, and tasted traditionally cured prosciutto. Specifically, all the foods we encountered were part of a movement to preserve culturally significant foods and their traditional production practices: Slow Food.