–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff
PUBLICATION DATE: April 17, 2018
Jake and Holly Goetz are bringing Goetz Family Farm produce to Sylvania during the growing season. Beginning the first of June, half-bushel-sized boxes of fresh seasonal produce will be available for Community Supported Agriculture shareholders either weekly or bi-weekly at
Country Grains Bakery
6808 Sylvania Ave.
“Our program has been successful at the Erie Bread Company in Monroe, Mich., so we approached Kelly Hewitt at Country Grains,” Goetz stated. “She was very enthusiastic about partnering with us and our CSA program. We really want to expand our program to the Sylvania area and are so pleased to be working with Kelly at Country Grains.”
A Community Supported Agriculture Program directly connects consumers to farmers. Consumers invest in the farm by sharing in the bounty along with the risks of growing. Seasonal produce is harvested and packaged weekly and delivered to a central location for those participating consumers.
Goetz said he and his family started their CSA program about five years ago. “We had been selling our produce at the Ann Arbor, downtown Farmington and Chelsea, Mich. farmers markets but started selling produce to Holly’s friends who had asked to have produce during the season. From the positive response we received, we realized we could also offer a CSA program,” he recalled. Since then, we have established pick up locations at our farm in Riga, the Erie Bread Co. in Monroe, Turning Point Health & Wellness in Adrian, Mich. and the three farmers’ markets we participate in.”
Participants in the Goetz Family Farm CSA program can choose to receive half bushel size boxes of seasonal produce weekly or bi-weekly starting in June running through October. June produce includes asparagus, beets, cabbage, kale, lettuce, onions, peas, potatoes, salad greens, spinach and Swiss chard. July and August items include basil, beans, beets, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, kale, muskmelons, onions, peppers, potatoes, shallots, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes, watermelon and zucchini. September and October boxes will be filled with basil, beans, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, muskmelon, onions, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, salad greens, spinach, summer squash, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, tomatoes, watermelon, winter squash and zucchini.
While those fruits and vegetables are harvested between June and October, work begins as early as January when seeds are first planted. “Actually, we are planting something or other from January through October,” Goetz said.
Freshly planted seeds spend some time in the germination chamber then are moved to one of the two heated greenhouses to grow into seedlings. Many of those fledgling plants mature in one of the four unheated hoop houses or, when weather permits, directly in the field designated for that particular crop for that season.
“We strive to grow better quality crops without using traditional pesticides or fertilizer. And we rotate our fields. We have found that we do not plant cash crops in every field but plant a ‘cocktail’ of feeder crops including rye, sorghum and Sudan grass to create fodder that feeds the soil,” Goetz said. “We are happy with the fine yields we are getting from this process.”
In keeping with their efforts to use organic practices Goetz and his family continue to learn new practices and develop new procedures including strategic planting. Goetz’ brother Joe has developed a no-till seed planting machine and a no-till welder to maximize the impact fodder created by the feeder crops has on the fields. The Goetz family also collects rainwater, which is used to supplement the watering crops.
Henry and Julia Goetz moved to the homestead at
Goetz Family Farm
8852 Goetz Rd.
in 1905. Their son Edward and his wife Betty took over followed by their grandson Jonathan and his wife, Karlene Goetz, who in the late 1970s, made the transition from growing grain and raising livestock to produce. Now, the third and fourth generation Goetz family including Jake and Holly and his brothers, Steve, Joe, Luke and his wife Sally operate the family farm.