Soil Friends’ roots began on the side of Ben’s parents’ meat market, where he built and tended a small garden.
The concept and momentum grew quickly. From there, Ben and his partner, Sarah, began tending and harvesting produce on a couple of acres of land. In 2015, Ben and Sarah acquired land in Richland, Michigan to expand their farm.
Soil Friends is a 22-acre vegetable farm, farm market, and community supported agriculture (CSA) with a focus on healthy soil that produces nutrient-dense food. In addition to their primary focus on growing vegetables and offering CSA shares, the farm also prides itself on its on-site farm market, where customers can buy seasonal items made in the farm's kitchen, including donuts, hard cider, and honey wine. Soil Friends also partners with local growers to carry things like local honey and locally tapped maple syrup.
Behind the name
When Ben was in college he interned with an Amish field consultant, where he learned about biological activity in the soil and how certain practices produce high-quality soil, which in turn produces high-quality food.
It's not fertilizers and chemical inputs that make good growing conditions; it's the right interaction with the land that cultivates a friendship between the soil and the grower.
Ben and Sarah
High school sweethearts, Ben and Sarah have always shared overlapping interests in farming and health. Those values and passions guided them to Soil Friends, where they now plan, create, and farm together, while raising their four children. Their kids' enthusiasm about farm visitors helped shift the focus of the farm from a wholesale commercial farm to a community-focused family destination.
Field Trips for school children
Want to spend a morning or afternoon on the farm with your classroom? We’d love to talk to your students about the soil and why it’s our friend. Contact us!