Apprentice Farmer, North FarmN5431 Rock River Road
Chatham, MI 49816
Landen is the newest farmer in Chatham, operating under the name Bean Pole Farm. The farm was made possible through the farm incubator program at the North Farm and Michigan State University Extension. She chose to enter into this apprenticeship program because of the location, the timing and the desire to really dive into a career in sustainable agriculture. Landen has lived around agriculture her whole life. Growing up, she spent countless summer days on her grandparent’s farm; as a teenager, she worked on a hybrid corn and soybean farm and during the summer while in college she worked on an organic vegetable farm. These experiences, along with a never-ending thirst for dirt under her fingernails, all contributed to the advent of Bean Pole Farm.
Landen is a 2013 Northern Michigan University graduate, earning her B.S. in environmental studies and sustainability. After graduation, she moved to northcentral Wisconsin, where she began to study the art of permaculture and received her permaculture design certificate. These teachings of sustainable life systems and closed-loop functions spurred a shift in her, and a determined search to begin a career in sustainable agriculture commenced. When word got out of a new farm incubator opening in the Upper Peninsula, she knew it was time to bid Wisconsin farewell and begin her journey as a small-scale organic vegetable farmer.
Bean Pole Farm, while now in its fledgling stages, has big plans for its future. Following the permaculture principles, the farm’s main goals include becoming a fully self-sustaining closed-loop system, thriving off the natural inputs a working farm provides, while absorbing the outputs in a cyclic pattern. Beyond that, Landen’s dream is to provide a whole-diet food share, based on a CSA model and including every part of the human diet. Components will include grains, protein, vegetables, fruit, nuts, herbs and a form of sweetness. In addition to these goals, Landen hopes that one day Bean Pole Farm will be an educational farm, where the community can gather and learn about food, sustainable life systems and farming.
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