Sunday, July 26, 2015
This three-in-one tour will stop at Salomon Gardens, a pastured livestock and poultry farm, Argus Farm Stop, a new retail outlet for year-round local food sales, and Sunseed Farm, a diverse vegetable farm with a year-round community supported agriculture (CSA) program.
The first stop, Salomon Gardens is a 35 acre farm in its third year of production. Salomon Jost, who has worked on organic and biodynamic farms since the early 1980s, and his wife, Nina White, tend to a small flock of sheep, 1,200 free-range broilers, 200 or more laying hens, and 50 Bourbon Red turkeys. All animals are intensively grazed on ecologically-managed pasture. Salomon and Nina process their broilers and turkeys on-site and direct market to customers and restaurants. In this two hour tour participants will see firsthand how the lambs, broilers, hens, and turkeys are managed and learn about Salomon and Nina’s challenges and innovations for pasture management; animal health, productivity, and breeding; marketing; infrastructure, and more.
Participants will drive to Ann Arbor for the second part of the tour at Argus Farm Stop, a market which sells locally produced vegetables, meats, eggs, dairy, and baked goods. Kathy and Bill Sample opened the small market on the edge of downtown Ann Arbor in August 2014 to provide a convenient venue for consumers to buy local foods year-round. Farmers own and price their products, and receive 80 percent of the sales price, helping them to expand their businesses and access new customers. Hear from Bill and Kathy about what they’ve learned in the last year of doing business, what challenges they’ve faced, and about the marketing and availability of local produce.
The last stop, Sunseed Farm, is a year-round vegetable CSA farm started in 2009 by Tomm and Trilby Becker. Tomm worked as the production manager at the Student Organic Farm at Michigan State University and is one of the area’s foremost experts on extending the growing season with hoop houses. He is dedicated to mentoring new farmers. In addition to his work with Tilian Farm Development Center, Sunseed Farm employs 2 or more beginning farmers at any given time. In the summer months, Trilby runs a cut flower CSA that also serves restaurants, florists, and markets like Argus Farm Stop. Join the Beckers and their employees for a tour of their hoop houses and to learn about their crops, their CSA, and what they have learned in the last six years of running Sunseed Farm.
Directions to Salomon Gardens: From I-94, take Exit 153 for Clear Lake Rd. Turn south on Clear Lake Rd. which becomes Francisco Rd. Go 2 miles, crossing Michigan Ave. and turn right on Grass Lake Rd. Drive west 1 mile. Pass grain storage silos, three houses, and a large red barn on the right. Follow the parking signs at the barn.
Directions to Argus Farm Stop: From Salomon Gardens, return to Rte. 94 and drive east. Take Exit 172 for Jackson Rd. Drive east on Jackson Rd. which becomes Huron St. Turn right on 3rd St. The second left is W. Liberty St. Argus Farm Stop is on the right.
Directions to Sunseed Farm: From Argus Farm Stop, take W. Liberty St. east. Turn left on S. Main St. Turn left onto W. Huron River Dr. Turn right on N. Maple Rd. Turn left onto W. Joy Rd. The first right is Boyden Dr. Sunseed is at the end on the left.
Registration: There is no cost to participate in these tours. Lunch is available for purchase. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Register by July 19 at http://goo.gl/5hLSBc.
This event is sponsored by OEFFA and is part of the 2015 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop series. For more information about other events in the series, go to www.oeffa.org.
13712 Grass Lake Rd., Grass Lake, MI 49240
Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association / (614) 421-2022 /
Nina White and Salomon Jost / (517) 775-2057 /