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"The maintenance of the fertility of the soil is the first condition of any permanent system of agriculture."

- Sir Albert Howard

 

OUR STORY

How we started
Where we are headed

It’s hard to believe that Adam and I have been farming for 10 years. And, that we’ve been growing on our land in Kewadin for seven. We still have days in the field where we bow our heads in defeat... humble and always learning.

Currently, we serve 100 CSA shares year-round through our Summer and Winter Farm Share Programs, sell veggies at Elk Rapids and Traverse City's Sara Hardy Farmers Markets, and provide to Village Market of Elk RapidsManna Food Project, and select restaurants including Siren Hall.

But, how did we get here? (we ask ourselves that daily!)

Adam and I both have a background in wildlife ecology, conservation, and natural resources management. I grew up in Oakland County, Michigan and Adam in LaPorte County, Indiana. Adam holds a degree in Geosciences from WMU while I have a degree in Environmental Studies from MSU.

 

Upon moving out West in 2010, our direction of conservation steered from natural landscapes to agricultural. While living in the state of Washington, we honed our skills working and managing small scale organic farms. Adam attended the Organic Farm School, an intensive eight-month program on Whidbey Island, while I worked as a Farm Assistant at Five Acre Farm a few miles north. In 2012, Eric Fritch of Chinook Farms hired us to develop and manage a small vegetable farm on his 100 acre property in the Snohomish River Valley. We served 50 CSA members, sold at Everett Farmers Market, provided to local restaurants and the Hilton Hotel Downtown Seattle, and held a small direct-to-retail account at PCC Community Markets. It’s important to say here that we are forever grateful to Eric for taking a chance on us greenhorns. We sincerely hope to pay that forward someday...

So, with family roots (and half our hearts) in Michigan, we decided to move back to this wonderful, diverse agricultural state. In 2013, while searching for the perfect property, Adam managed TLC Hydroponics in Suttons Bay. Shortly thereafter, we were thrilled to find a beautiful and unique piece of land in Kewadin to start our own certified organic vegetable farm. At the same time, I was lucky enough to land a full-time gig at Grass River Natural Area and served as their Executive Director from 2013-2018. I loved my role and my colleagues there but with the birth of our son, Atticus, in 2018 I decided to leave GRNA and dedicate my full love and attention to the farm and my family. I am forever passionate about wildlife and wildlands and currently serve on the Steering Committee for the Pigeon River Discovery Center in Vanderbilt, MI. If you have not explored the 107,000 acres that defines the PRC, you must. It is where people go to get lost amongst the cerulean sinkhole lakes and elk and cold, clear headwaters.

 

So, our goal at Undertoe is to improve soil biodiversity, increase wildlife diversity on our property, and grow delicious, seasonal fruits and vegetables for our neighbors and friends. We also strive to enrich the minds of our community about a sustainable food system.

We look forward to meeting you. We feel honored to grow for you. We are thrilled to be involved in the local food movement of Northwest Michigan. We choose to farm because it is a deeply rewarding lifestyle that contributes to our personal growth while also improving the health of our community.

We couldn’t do what we love without you...

xo Adam, Haley & Atticus

PS. Please subscribe to our farm newsletter to hear more from us.