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.
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.
The Branch Road Farm is a diversified organic and biodynamic farm on 73 acres in the South Willamette Valley, just outside of Cottage Grove, OR. Here at the farm, we are committed to our vision of embracing the root meaning of agriculture: a haven of cultural activity, social and artistic life as well as food production; all in a day and age when food security and building mutually supportive relationships within our communities is essential. We run a Kids and Teens Farm to Table Cooking Class Series, where students in this Farm Food Program gain a better understanding of what food is through harvesting the ingredients themselves, then learning from local chefs how to prepare it in our licensed farm kitchen. Through teaching our youth both where their food comes from and how they can grow and prepare it, we empower them to become more self-reliant in providing food and possibly income for themselves and their families. We also have adult classes on everything from cheese making to sustainable animal husbandry. We raise crops on 2 acres, have a 30 head commercial goat dairy herd, a commercial meat sheep herd and the fun livestock guardian dogs and donkeys. We also make value-added products such as sauerkraut and other ferments, cheese and pesto. We are a family farm of 4 plus 1 employee.
Spiritwinds Farm is located on 26 acres of land in a small town south of Buffalo, NY. The farm was once a 164 acre dairy farm but was sold off to a gravel company. The original owner retained only 8 acres which included the house, the barn, and a small pasture. When we bought the farm, the previous owner had acquired a 6 acre hayfield and the gravel bed had gone into bankruptcy. A development company outbid everyone for the gravel bed but fortunately, we were able to persuade them to sell us an additional 12 acres. We fell in love with this farm, primarily because of the barn that was built in 1919 (there is a 1919 license plate nailed under a batten on the back of the barn). The barn is three stories with hand hewn beams held by wooden pegs, a barn bridge that allows us to pull hay wagons up into the mow, and two tremendous cherry trees that shade the east end. The farm is run by two partners, Gwen and Nancy, who have filled the barn with 93 sheep, at present. Over the years we have purchased our own farm equipment and only hire help for shearing and a few extra hands for haying. We have built a fodder room, insulated by wool from our sheep, and grow fodder when needed to supplement our sheep’s diets. The farm is also home to five working Belgian Tervuren herding dogs and a handful of barn cats that have moved in over the years. The farm products include market lambs, herding, wool and education.