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Ferndale Farm Gears Up for Spring, Shares Still Available

Resident and horticulturalist Trevor Johnson says 'everything is in motion' for the Ferndale Farm's second year.

The Ferndale Farm, which started last year as an effort by resident and farmer Trevor Johnson along with the city's recreation department, is gearing up for its second year in the city.

The farm is a small, 50 foot by 100 foot plot of land located at Garbutt Park near Eight Mile and Allen Road that grows parsley, brussel sprouts, spinach, cilantro and more.

"Everything is in motion over here," Johnson said Wednesday.

Following the Community Supported Agriculture model, Johnson offers a certain number of "shares" to the public, which consumers can purchase and in return receive a box of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

The farm had three shares available this year and there were 1 1/2 shares left. A full share costs $700 and a half-share is $350.

"That's a bag of produce for the entire season, from May or June to October," he said.

Among the share purchasers this year is Rick Halberg, owner of the .

"Obviously it's going to bring us some local produce and support the community," he said. "I'm trying to get involved in as much of that as possible. We're excited to work with Trevor."

Local Kitchen and Bar should open around Memorial Day, Halberg said.

Johnson said he is very excited to have foods from the farm be on the menu at the new restaurant.

"I feel awesome," he said. "I fully believe that I can give them more than $700 worth of produce and they're going to be very happy with this arangement."

Johnson said he thinks it may be an early farming season this year based on the weather so far.

"We might have some late frost and what-not but that's not going to stop us from getting some early cold crops in," he said.

Anyone interested in purchasing a share or half-share can contact Johnson at john2116@gmail.com or 248-894-4059.

"I look forward to a wonderful season," Johnson said.

Johnson also oversees production at the , which is run by the non-profit group Royal Oak Forward.

The Royal Oak farm operated for two years on the site of the former Lincoln Early Education Center in Royal Oak but is now seeking a new location after that property became unavailable.

The Royal Oak Community Farm has also sold shares to local restaurants, including Café Muse, Inn Season Café and Cacao Tree Café in Royal Oak.

Kim Wilson March 08, 2012 at 07:12 PM
I wish they had placed this plot in a better location. It is smack in the middle of an area of public land that was often used by kids and adults to play pick-up football or soccer. It has made that area entirely useless for recreation, which is the park's original purpose.
Linda Baker March 08, 2012 at 09:05 PM
If Trevor Johnson is involved you can bet that all required applications and fees etc. have been covered. The garden in RO was awesome and I wish there were a location in Ferndale and a group willing to front it as there was in RO - I do agree that the loss of active recreation land is truly unfortunate and perhaps next year another location could be chosen if there is one available that meets all the requirements of a garden plot, like sun, soil type, access etc..
Lucas Zdenek March 09, 2012 at 06:53 AM
It's really too bad that we don't have a space like the one that Oak Park abandoned for a community garden. I would love to reclaim that one with all the rain barrels and fencing and raised beds already in place!
Amos Sassypants March 09, 2012 at 03:11 PM
I live down the street from here ( have for 8 yrs.) and it is AWESOME that they have decided to utilize some of the space in the park for a garden! No one is missing out on a playing area for soccer or football. This park is mostly used for the baseball diamond (baseball, kickball), the volleyball court, and the "track" around the perimeter of the park for walking and running. Having the garden there is great, my only conern is that people who are meandering through park might not respect it and mistreat it... it would be nice if it had a makeshift fence around it to deter anyone from easily accessing it.
Ferndale_1986 March 09, 2012 at 05:24 PM
what a colossal waste of time. no wonder people laugh at Ferndale.
Ferndale Resident March 09, 2012 at 08:14 PM
I agree with Amos, that a fence is almost necessary there. No doubt some thugs will try to destroy the garden- heck, they probably would even with a fence up.
Erik Roberts March 11, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Odd comment...I work on the Eastside (Hall Rd. and Garfield) I get the "Whoa, that's a haul for a commute" but EVERY person also says "I love that city, it's got a cool vibe about it". I grew up on the Eastside, moved away from S.E. Michigan completely for nearly ten years, when it was time to come back we (wife and I) chose Ferndale because of that "vibe". I wouldn't live anywhere else in S.E. Michigan...this is just one more example of what gives this city it's flare. I Love this city for exactly that reason...that laughter that you hear is probably by those genuinely enjoying what this city has to offer. I'd like to see more people (like Mr. Johnson) bringing these fresh ideas (literally) to add to the vibrance of Ferndale.
Ferndale_1986 March 12, 2012 at 10:44 AM
@Erik Roberts why in the world would anyone move away from S.E. Michigan and come back?
Brian Clark March 12, 2012 at 02:32 PM
I think this is great. If a better location is available, perhaps the garden can move, but I love the idea of a community garden and enhanced green space.

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