Who We Are
We are first-generation farmers who believe small farms play a pivotal role in the work of preserving local food supplies, decreasing energy consumption, and bringing neighbors together in authentic communities.
In the age-old tradition of apprenticeship, we learned season-extension and cold-weather farming methods from other farmers. Before Bluestem Farm, we worked on a self-sufficient biodynamic community farm in rural northwestern Russia and a diversified organic raw-milk dairy in northern New England. Even when we lived in New York City, we kept chickens and had a container garden.
Each year, Aaron raises thousands of animals on pasture and grows thousands of pounds of certified organic vegetables. Formative experiences include thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail as a young man, hitchhiking, and fatherhood. He's got a great memory for books.
Each year we're lucky to have the help of several fine people. If you’re curious, check out the details below.
Mary's past is littered with partial careers in teaching, cooking, and writing. At Bluestem Farm, she takes the helm as head egg washer, delivery driver, and pickle maker. She's usually the person at the other end of an email, and she usually has salad dressing on her shirt.
About the Land
Much of the 80 acres of woods, rolling grassland, and gardens that make up this place were fallow from the early sixties until 2012, when we came to own the land. During that time, the farm’s many habitats were protected in an interconnected patchwork vibrant with plant and animal life.
Today, we’re carefully transitioning the property back to working farmland in a way that continues to protect the land. Our farming practices include managed intensive rotational grazing, certified organic growing methods, and zero chemical inputs. We are proud to offer our members and customers certified organic vegetables and plentiful, varied diets straight through both the gorgeous summers and long winters of northwest lower Michigan.
We chose the name Bluestem Farm for the native Midwestern grass by the same name. Its roots reach incredibly deep.
Local Food Heroes - Petoskey News-Review
We wrote a year-long column for Edible Grande Traverse Magazine that followed the travails and successes of an early year at Bluestem Farm. Read the whole series here: Summer, Fall, The Holidays, Winter & Spring at Bluestem Farm
What is Organic Farming, Really? - Clean Eating Magazine
First-Generation Farmers Set Deep Roots in East Jordan - Petoskey News-Review
New Program Brings CSA Shares to the Disadvantaged - Traverse City Record-Eagle
What is a CSA and How Do They Work? - Petoskey News-Review
Foodies of the Month - Traverse Magazine
Local Food All Year Round - GrowerTalks Magazine
Local Band Supports Farm with a Cause - Grand Traverse Insider
Farmer Heroes - EcoCentric blog
Groups Join Effort to Subsidize Food for Low-Income Families - Charlevoix Courier
Bluestem Farm Grows Roots in East Jordan - Petoskey News-Review