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What's in a name? Farming

By Walt Gajewski
Market Manager
September 26, 2022

Inspecting the farms that come to market may be the most rewarding aspect of being a market manager. Just mapping the route brings a sense of anticipation. On the ride out, the scenery changes. Roll down the windows, and the air smells different. You become aware of the ground under your feet when you step out on to the farm.  

good-neighbor.jpgA farm new to the market this summer recently passed inspection. So you this Saturday say hello to Caroline Wright and her partner, Seth Schmiedeknecht, of Good Neighbor Farm, a small two-acre place somewhere off Pontiac Trail. Good Neighbor leans to organic practices with an eye toward “no till,” which in simple terms means to grow plants and vegetables without disturbing or at least minimally disturbing the soil, for want of protecting the delicate balance of the eco system at work. Among the far-reaching benefits of no-till is reduced soil erosion, increased biological activity and soil organic matter. Caroline and Seth use a “hybrid approach.”

Near to their farm is another that joined our market this season: the Greener Things Farm Collective of Ann Arbor. I took the opportunity to tour both of these farms recently. The farmers are young, hardworking, ambitious and committed to sustainable farm practices. They are the future of farming and the future of the Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market.

Speaking of new farms, let’s welcome to our community another farm family that is very serious about wanting to come to Farmington: Kapolnek Farms out in Carleton. The Kapolneks  raise humanely treated, free-roam, USDA-certified livestock with no growth hormones and or antibiotics. They also were at market last week and fell in love with the welcoming atmosphere that is a vibe uniquely felt in Farmington.

And I would be remiss not to mention our big farmers. Bill and Ellen Gass farm up in Ray, Michigan, east of Romeo. The Goetz Family farm is down south of Dundee in a small hamlet called Riga. The multi-generational Fusilier Family Farm cultivates land out in Sharon Township, southwest of Chelsea on a spread as wide as 114 miles. And of course we have more fine farms – click here to see who they are and where they are located.

How blessed we are to have farms from all over expressing an interest in coming to market here in Farmington. If you didn’t know, it’s very difficult for markets to recruit farmers. And it’s rarer still that farmers ask to come.  Maybe it’s all in the name:  Farmington. 

So until next time and as always, here’s saying: “See you at the market.”