2023 Making It In Michigan Barrier Buster Award: Hallstedt Homestead Cherries
April 20, 2023
We are first-generation farmers and we start bought this property in 2006. We really didn't know what we want to do other than to build a lifestyle up here. And so we went to MSU and worked with them as well as with some local mentors. And we identified fresh produce, sweet cherries, which is pretty rare for up here, and started putting it in 22 acres of those chairs than we started with wholesale. And we realized though it was not sustainable economically, it was not feasible to really ever get to the point where it, with this scale of a farm we wouldn't be able to make money. And so we pivoted a couple of years ago into 100% you pick, we're doing all you pick now. And if we do have extra, at the end of the season, we are able to get a crew in and sell it wholesale than that works out great. That said, we want to add more value. And so one of the ideas we came up with was direct ship. So you've heard of farm to table. This is farmed and porch. So we can direct shift two or four pounds around the country to select customers. And so that again adds more value. We are contacted by MSU again and they said, Hey, there's a International Workshop and agritourism in Burlington, Vermont in 2022. We'd like to have you share some of our learnings, but more importantly, go out and see what other farmers are doing around the world. There's 500 attendees from 50 different countries. We are way behind in terms of what we think of adding value to tourism and agriculture. When we bought the place, none of these buildings and infrastructure existed. There was no running water, no electricity. We used to send the cement pad over there and say, Can you imagine just waking up having our cup of coffee out here and walking off to work in the fields right here. And so now we're able to do that and it's, yeah, we've come a long ways. Hi. We are filled in Sierra Hall, City Hall, so hopes that cherries and we're proud to be named for the barrier buster Award for 2023, make it in Michigan awards. And thank you to MSU product Center as well as MSU Extension.