It has been far to long since I updated my blog and I have SO much to tell you about so here goes…
I didn’t explain very well our move from that very first season (2010) with only about 1 acre planted (in a flooding field) to the three acres in South Haven. It is a poignant tale…we had become very good friends with our neighbor, Bill, and Jody even joined him regularly for breakfast. Bill was suffering from kidney failure and would go in for dialysis several times a month. He suffered a heart attack, had heart surgery and was placed in a care facility where we visited him until he has finally released. A few weeks later we had a knock on our door and it was Bill’s son, Brian. He informed us that his father had passed and that Bill really liked us and wanted us to be able to purchase his property if we chose to do so. We were not in a financial position to do that but we thanked Brian and offered to help in any way that we could.
We attended Bill’s funeral and met his extended family and his other son Kevin. It was really great to hear the stories of their family and how they had moved up to Michigan. We learned that a great uncle of theirs used to have a 200 acre farm of which part is now the Michigan Flywheelers Museum in South Haven. We connected with Kevin and Brian on Facebook and continued to keep up with one another.
We knew that we would have to find another farm to grow on because our forty acres was mostly woods, had flooding issues and had a high pressure gas pipeline running the length of the open field. We had started looking around the area and I fell in love with an orchard and farm market with cider press that had come up for sale in Bangor, Michigan. It was such a deal but we didn’t have the financial status to be able to purchase it and I could not convince anyone to help us buy it because we were so new to farming. I put an ad on the MOSES organic network classifieds asking if anyone wanted to buy it for us. I received one reply from a gentleman that said he didn’t want to buy another farm but he had a farm and was trying to work things out with the current tenants and would let me know if that fell through.
It was winter and some time passed as I planned for a smaller season just growing in my raised beds at the house. Then, I received a message from Kevin on Facebook. He said he still owned the last 5 acre plot from his great uncle’s farm. It was about 7 miles from us, needed some cleanup but that we could farm it if we wanted. He wanted to turn it back into a farm because that is what he remembered as a child. He wanted the old barn to remain intact which worked out well for us. As the weather started to warm we started cleaning, clearing the young pine trees that had grown up, got the well working and moved our young fruit trees. We installed an irrigation system to run drip lines to the vegetable plots and got started growing! We hired an intern to help us with the Friday harvest and had a fairly good season despite the nearly constant rain!
What a great opportunity and we are so grateful to Kevin and Brian for their support of our little farm!