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2016 Grant Awardee Earthkeeper Farm

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