The Modern Farmer Kieron Hales, managing partner of Zingerman’s Cornman Farms in Dexter talks to CSL about the genesis of the farm.
1. Tell us briefly about Cornman Farms.
My managing partner Alex wanted a way to de-stress. He took his son and started digging up the back garden. He grew tomatoes and carrots and made some food for people using those ingredients. He found a real connection with what he was able to do. From that point on, he doubled the size of the production field. Now, we have 42 acres of farmland, animal pastures and grounds for celebrations and events.
2. What is the vision of Cornman Farms?
About five years ago I wrote the first version of the vision. There was an ability for us to have large groups out here to talk about farming, and it’s right on their doorstep. Being in Ann Arbor at the Roadhouse [a Zingerman’s business] is door to door 12-15 minutes, they see what we’re talking about.
3. Name one of the best experiences you’ve had at the farm?
There was a child eating kale straight from the ground–he didn’t even pick it– that was the highlight of the day!
This article first appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.