organic farming

Lisa Barry

On the road to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, Melvin Parson inherited a small garden patch in Ann Arbor from a friend who had recently passed away.  That sparked his interest in agriculture.  As he looked into it, he noticed a lack of diversity in those selling and buying fresh produce inspiring him to one day create a world-class urban farm.

89-1 WEMU'S Lisa Barry met Melvin at his current garden location in Ypsilanti Township and shares his story…

Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

Michigan's bee population has been devastated. Monarch Butterflies are in swift decline. Our food, and landscaping habits, may be to blame.


Jason and Julia Gold / www.ourhandmadelife.com

Meet the Gold family from Superior Township. They've turned their land into an innovative,  self-sustaining property. 

  Overview   

The Gold family owns and operates a farming “homestead” in Washtenaw County known as “Our Handmade Life”, where they live a self-sustaining, green life and they offer courses to the public on how they do it.

The farm, on Vreeland Road, features a bio-intensive passive greenhouse (no fossil fuels!), the Michigan Folk School, dozens of varieties of organic produce, mushrooms, goats, and chickens.

Jason and Julia Gold have operated “Our Handmade Life” since 2011, and both the farm and the school have expanded every year since. They are currently offering classes on chicken butchering, earth ovens, soap making, fermentation, ale brewing, and much more.