Biodiversity is one of the core values of Earthkeeper Farm. They encourage biodiversity in the crops they grow, wild areas they maintain, and community work they do. They enjoy growing a wide range of crops and varieties, and make an effort to seek out open pollinated and heirloom types.

They would like to plant a nut grove with some native fruit on the farm. The varieties would include, AofT means it is an Ark of Taste type:

  • American Chestnut (AofT
  • Michigan Pecan (American Native Pecan is the AofT type, but the Michigan Pecan does better in this climate)
  • Shagbark Hickory Nut (AofT)
  • English Walnut (other types of walnut of AofT, but I was not able to source them
  • Paw Paw (AofT)
  • American Persimmon (AofT)

There are not many farms in the area growing nuts or these unique native fruits for direct-to-consumer markets. They think this is a great area to get into. But the trees do take many years to yield, which is what makes them a financial struggle for small farmers. They take up space on the farm, and don’t provide a return on investment for many years. They plan to purchase these trees from Oikos Trees in Kalamazoo, MI .

Grant Application Information