Flint Ingredient Company started four years ago with the purchase of 9.75 acres of vacant County Land Bank property. We started selling our produce at the Flint Farmers Market a year round market. Flint Ingredient Company began with a flock of 20 chickens, 6 sheep and vegetable production in a 48 ft hoophouse. We now focus primarily on vegetable production in four hoophouses and outdoor fields producing product year round on 1.5 acres. Franklin Pleasant and Erin Caudell are the primary operators with several part-time staff joining during peak season. In December of 2015, we opened a Michigan focused grocery store named The Local Grocer where we stock our produce. Later this summer will add a mobile vegetable market (with other community partners) to bring fresh local produce into the neighborhoods of Flint.
Marlow Farms was started over 50 years ago, when my great grandfather traded his small general store for a herd of Hereford cattle. Since then the farm has seen good years and bad, and time has taken its toll. 18 years ago, the farm began to transistion to my parents and my sisters, and we're endeavoring to bring it back to its former glory. We started a pumpkin patch, and we're working on adding goats for quality meat and cheese products. In addition, we're laying the groundwork for a farmer's market stand.
We are a 15-acre farm located just south of the DC Metro area. Here, we have a eighth-acre vegetable garden that will expand considerably with an addition of a high tunnel this fall. We also have 6 goats - 2 Nigerian dwarf, 2 cashmere, and 2 fainting, and we will be breeding them this fall for winter births with the intention of selling some of the kids and seeing if we can sustain milking for soap and lotion. We also have 21 heritage-breed hens and 1 ornery rooster named Xander. Xander keeps the girls safe, and they, in turn, give us beautiful brown, white, and green eggs. At present, we make our income from a small pay-what-you-will farm stand at the end of our lane, and in that stand, we also run a Little Free Library. Additionally, we sell our goats' cashmere and have a bunk room in our barn that is available as a retreat space for writers. The two of us, Andi and Philip, do all the work to run the farm, and occasionally, our parents - Mary Lou, Galen, Woody, and Adrienne - help us with major projects, like completing the bunk room and bathroom in our barn and putting up fencing. We do not hire any help at this point.
On this land since the early 1800's has been Spring Meadows Farm. First it was sheep, tobacco, and water powered grist and lumber mills. Then it became a small dairy. By the 1930 modern farming had put it out of business and declared the wet low land an the hilly up land making up the farm to be of no value. Today using a traditional approach of pasturing, manure for fertilizing the small amount of tillable land, milk from a small dairy herd instead of soy for raising pigs and chickens, and oxen for power high quality food is being produced for local enjoyment, health, and economic benefit.