Pileated Farms in Chatham recaps its first growing season


CHATHAM, Mich. (WLUC) – In May, Olivia Kingery and her partner Brian Kakas purchased an 80-acre property in Chatham and launched Pileated Farms. As the pandemic has created uncertainty, Kingery says it has been a joy to call the earth 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 community members who may not have access to it. “

The farm has vines, berry plots, 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 has gone “ridiculously well.”

“We were at the Skandia Farmers Market as well as the Marquette Farmers Market,” she said. “And so being there and being a part of this food community was exciting for me. I really like.”

Kingery says she spends the winter planning for the next growing season. Apart from agriculture, the land inspires Kingery to write and Kakas to create ceramics.

“Brian’s ceramic work was about the earth before we moved here,” Kingery explained. “We have both always loved the land. And farming in Eben kind of got me really excited to own it, do it myself, and take the plunge to be a steward of the land.

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

“We’re interested in maybe adding animals there (by making pasture for the animals),” she said. “We thought of a pumpkin patch and corn. “

Pileated Farms plans to start seeding next season at the end of January. For now, Kingery and his partner are calling on everyone to support local food and farmers in 2022.

Copyright 2021 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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