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By Delaney Krause

What started as a passion project has quickly grown into a cornerstone of the community. Jacob’s Fresh Farm is located on the outskirts of Chelsea, just off Fletcher Rd, and offers an incredible variety of family-friendly activities as well as a profound commitment to naturally grown produce and flowers.

Jacob’s Fresh Farm is run by Jacob D’Lamater. He grew up on his parents’ Christmas tree farm in Leslie, Michigan, alongside his wife, Anna, and their 16-month-old daughter, Indigo. Aside from an upbringing surrounded by nature, Jacob credits his passion and the creation of his farm to a conversation he had in 2013 about pesticides.

greenhouse full of flowers and plants for sale

Jacob’s Fresh Farm’s Spring Plant Sale. Facebook

He explains, “I originally went out and purchased Roundup to kill the grass and weeds, but my partner at the time was in complete shock and expressed their concern about spraying poison on the ground that we planned to grow food on. Immediately a light bulb went off in my head, and I started researching and learning about how to grow organically, or as we refer to it, ‘all naturally.’” Soon, Jacob was producing more than he could consume and began to give bags of produce to friends, family, and people online (asking for donations in return).

After these initial successes, and a persistent surplus of eggs from the farm’s 150+ chickens, Jacob began attending farmers markets to sell his goods– continuing to place his budding business on the community’s radar.

Since its early farmers market days, Jacob’s Fresh Farm has developed into a compact commercial enterprise that sells wholesale to Busch’s Fresh Market, Argus in Ann Arbor, and Agricole in Chelsea. Additionally, Jacob’s Fresh Farm attends the Chelsea Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, sells year-round at the farm’s onsite farmstand, sells produce boxes during fall and winter when the farm has a surplus, and offers a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

woman and child picking strawberries outdoors in a large field

Anna and Indigo Picking Strawberries. Facebook

During the harvest season, members of the CSA program receive weekly or biweekly boxes of fresh seasonal produce from the farm. Within the program, the farm offers three different shares: Spring, Summer, and Fall. Customers are able to opt in or out based on these seasonal shares. Jacob explained this program resulted from an “increased confidence in [his] growing abilities and as a way to make a little extra income.” Ultimately, thanks to the farm’s wide variety of services and products, there are countless ways to interact with or support it from close or afar.

In addition to all of these fantastic services, Jacob’s Fresh Farm has an annual Spring Plant Sale, you-pick strawberries, lavender, sunflowers, and pumpkins (depending on the season), and three festivals scheduled for 2024: the Lavender Festival (July 20th), The Sunflower Festival (August 17th), and The Fall Festival (October 7th).

The Spring Plant Sale opens the first week of May and runs daily through July 4th, and according to Jacob, “it is one of the largest all naturally grown seedling and flower sales in the area. [The Farm] sells everything from annual flats, hanging baskets, perennial flowers, shade plants, ground cover, lavender, herbs and everything for the garden.”

The you-pick strawberry season opens in mid-June, you-pick lavender opens at the beginning of July, you-pick sunflowers open mid-July, and finally, you-pick pumpkins open on October 1st.

Anna and Jacob. Courtesy of Jacob D’Lamater

The upcoming Lavender Festival will feature 40+ craft and artisan vendors, four food trucks, a lemonade and an ice cream stand, a 60 ft. bounce house with a slide, a free craft area, live music, circus performers, and you-pick flowers. Jacob emphasized: “We love family-friendly events where kids’ activities don’t cost extra, and that anyone could come to and have a good time.” For more information on The Sunflower Festival and The Fall Festival, visit Jacob’s Fresh Farm on Facebook or online.

Jacob’s Fresh Farm has quickly taken Chelsea and the surrounding communities by storm, reminding its members that supporting natural and local businesses is extremely rewarding and important. When asked what aspect of his job he enjoys the most, Jacob said, “If I had to choose, I love the challenge and reward of helping to create local food awareness and making local food sustainable again.” From a humble hobby on just 1/16th of an acre with a couple of greenhouses, Jacob’s Farm has flourished into 40 acres of opportunity, offering countless avenues to engage with the community in a meaningful and sustainable manner.

For more information on pricing and availability, visit https://jacobsfreshfarm.com/

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