Pileated Farms in Chatham recaps its first growing season

The land’s head farmer says homegrown products were sold at two different farmers markets.
This is a recording of the TV6 Early News.
Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 4:10 PM EST
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CHATHAM, Mich. (WLUC) - In May, Olivia Kingery and her partner Brian Kakas bought an 80-acre piece of property in Chatham and began Pileated Farms. While the pandemic created uncertainty, Kingery says it has been a joy to call the land home and start farming.

“We love the local food community,” she said. “It’s really about being part of the community and providing fresh food to the community members who might not have access to that.”

The farm has grape vines, berry patches, apple trees, and a field to grow flowers and 50 varieties of vegetables. These include ten varieties of heirloom tomatoes and seven varieties of carrots.

Kingery says their first year of farming went “ridiculously well.”

“We were at the Skandia Farmers Market as well as the Marquette Farmers Market,” she stated. “And so being there and being in that food community was thrilling for me. I really love it.”

Kingery says she is spending the winter planning for the next growing season. Outside of farming, the land inspires Kingery to write and Kakas to craft ceramic art.

“Brian’s ceramic work dealt with land before we moved here,” Kingery explained. “We both have always loved the land. And farming in Eben kind of got me just really excited to own it, to do it myself, and to take the step into being a steward for the land.”

And as the pair continue on with their three dogs, two cats, and hermit crab, there is an unused field on the right side of the property. Kingery says multiple ideas are on the table.

“We’re interested in maybe adding animals there (having that be a pasture for animals),” she said. “We’ve thought about a pumpkin patch and about corn.”

Pileated Farms plans to start next season’s seeds at the end of January. For now, Kingery and her partner are asking everyone to support local foods and farmers in 2022.

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