our story

We have been farming part-time since 1988, and full-time since 1996. We’ve got four kids who are grown, and our family continues to grow.

We farm biologically, paying careful attention to the soil and its health. “Healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy people.”

We raise several type of beans, including many heirloom varieties. Our sheep flock consists of a few Suffolk ewes and around 80 Polypay ewes. The wool from our sheep is processed at a Michigan mill, and we sell it as yarn, roving for spinning, and bedding. Grassfed lamb is available for your freezer in the fall of each year. We also have a small herd of Belted Galloway cattle for beef production.

Environmental Stewardship

Shady Side Farm focuses on producing healthy food options while revitalizing the land for future generations. To accomplish this, the farm undergoes regular inspections to maintain the following certifications:

USDA Organic:

A nationally recognized label, USDA Organic certification requires farms to meet a certain set of standards, focusing on eliminating the use of synthetic chemicals. Our beans and grain are raised without the use of any pesticides.

Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP):

MAEAP verification holds farms to a different set of standards than organic certification, focusing on the environmental impacts of a farm. MAEAP verification ensures that a farm is working to mitigate soil erosion, being a careful steward of nutrients, and reducing any other environmental risks they may have, from water use to fuel storage. Learn more at www.maeap.org

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