On the crisp Spring evening of April 17, 2010, there was an energizing sound coming from the Royal Oak Farmers Market. The lively Lettuce Rock event was abuzz with families and locals partaking in the casual exuberance.
This event was the first one of many, to kick off the launch of the newly birthed Royal Oak Community Farm. The fundraising affair was filled with an array of vendors for the young and old alike: live local bands, face painting by Mar-E-Lynn The Clown and a chair massage and henna body painting station, to name a few. The tagline of “Inspiring Local Growth” seemed to do just that, with just over 1,000 attending the event.
Visionary and President of Royal Oak Forward, David Baldwin, was inspired to start the farm after noticing vacant and unused land in Royal Oak and dreaming of a better purpose for the land. After presenting the idea of a sustainable, community based local farm to the Royal Oak School district, his dream became a reality.
What makes the farm unique is that they take traditional farming and combine with modern ideas (like urban farming) to create a fresh new hybrid type of farm. They do this by providing CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares with a self sustaining farm, supply fresh and organically grown produce to consumers and restaurants, and foster outreach to the local communities through education while make good use of idle land.
Through partnership with the MSU 4H program, future goals are to launch educational initiatives in the community in the coming year.
The farm is located in Royal Oak on a 5 acre lot on 11 Mile Rd. between Stephenson and Campbell. Their plan is to utilize the land for their CSA shares (sold out already this year!), consumer and restaurant crops and also an aesthetically pleasing flower garden.
Interested in supporting the farm? There are still many opportunities for you to get involved. In the coming months, you will be able to buy produce from the farm at the Royal Oak Farmers Market. They are also looking for volunteers to assist with educational programs and planting their flower garden. Of course, donations are always welcome! For every $25 or more donation, a $5 coupon will be given to be redeemed at their stand at the Farmers Market during a future visit.
To learn more about The Royal Oak Community Farm, contact them at: http://www.royaloakcommunityfarm.com/. Stay on top of future events by connecting with them on twitter and facebook.
Author: Angel Hartter is a Freelance Writer, Holistic Health and Wellness Coach and Owner of Zeste Healthy Life LLC.