What's in the Box?
Notes From the Field
Welcome to week 5 - it's hard to believe we are already on the downhill slide into August, but we can tell as we look around the farm and start too see the colors of vegetables changing, fruits fattening, and leaves swelling. It is a nice time to be on the farm!
We wanted to introduce to you the other two farms that are providing produce for your weekly shares. These two farms are participating in what we call the Apprentice Farmer Program, which is a business incubator hosted at The North Farm. Through this incubator, we welcome growers who are looking for access to land and resources to start or expand their farm business. They settle on The North Farm for up to five years, using this time to establish their business, create a marketing plan, fine tune their growing skills, and build revenue. They are their own, independent businesses, using the resources at The North Farm to get a solid footing. This week we would like to introduce Landen Tetil, of Bean Pole Farm:
Landen, owner of Bean Pole Farm, chose her path based on the desire to fully immerse herself in a sustainable agriculture career. Landen originates from a rural area of lower Michigan, and has been surrounded by agriculture her whole life. Growing up, she spent countless summer days on her grandparent’s farm; as a teenager, she worked on a hybrid corn and soybean farm, and spent her college summers on an organic vegetable farm. These experiences, along with a never-ending thirst for dirt under her fingernails, all contributed to the advent of Bean Pole Farm.
Landen is a 2013 Northern Michigan University graduate, earning her B.S. in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. After graduation, she moved to northcentral Wisconsin, where she studied the art of permaculture and received her Permaculture Design Certificate. These teachings of sustainable life systems and closed-loop functions spurred a shift in her, and a determined search to begin a career in sustainable agriculture commenced. When word got out of a new farm incubator opening in the Upper Peninsula, she knew it was time to bid Wisconsin farewell and begin her journey as a small-scale organic vegetable farmer. Now, she grows vegetables, flowers, and herbs through a lease from the MSU North Farm incubator program in Chatham, Michigan. To learn more about the incubator program, visit the webpage: www.msunorthfarm.org/apprentice-farmer-program.html
Bean Pole Farm, now in year 3 of production, has big plans for its future. The farm’s main goals include becoming a fully self-sustaining closed-loop system, thriving off the natural inputs a working farm provides, while absorbing the outputs in a cyclic pattern. Beyond that, Landen is working toward the dream to provide a whole-diet food share, based on a CSA model including every part of the human diet. Components will include grains, protein, vegetables, fruit, nuts, herbs and a form of sweetness. Landen hopes that one day Bean Pole Farm will be an educational farm, where the community can gather and learn about food, sustainable life systems and farming.
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The North Farm is a research, education, and production farm located in the central Upper Peninsula.