The New Farmers
They initially thought the farm would be a commune. But that "sort of evaporated as the 'hippies' got older and moved on," King recalls, "and the back to the land movement seemed to be over so we settled into being a family farm." More than forty years later, it still is--Cathy now works the organic farm alongside her three grown sons, Billy, Kenny, and Edwin. After selling at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market for decades, they recently added a CSA by popular demand.
"In the early days we grew what we could scratching in the dirt," King recalls, "greens and kale. What's changed is people like to eat greens.
"Now we grow more of everything so we can have balanced produce for people who shop at our stall. We changed to meet the demand. The farmers market is so revitalized, and Ann Arbor is so aware."
But while it's a rich life, it hasn't made them rich. "We might still be here just because we've been okay with living communally as a family, minimizing consumption and not having a lot of financial security," Cathy says. "The other [people who started farming forty years ago] may be very happy that they are no longer trying to do this! But I know plenty of dumb luck, fortunate timing, and invaluable help from 'old-timer' neighbors got us to this point."