Kayla Ratz has always had her hands in the dirt. She jokes about how it may be unfeminine that she hasn’t had a summer without dirt lodged under her fingernails, but identifies strongly with farming as a woman because of its connection to cultivating life. Growing food started with her grandpa’s vegetable farm and continues today in the form of her business, Coop Creations.
While Kayla has always kept a garden or been in the farming space, her business started in 2016 due to a search for secondary income during her first maternity leave. She first started Coop Creations with trips to the Hubbard Lake Farmers Market with fresh produce and wine cork decor, perfect for the cottage homes of the surrounding tourist area.
Her business grew, supported by the implementation of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) community members – just 3 to start off with, having grown to up to 50 members at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kayla says her CSA is exciting for adventurous eaters, featuring items like okra, tomatillos, and patty pan squash. Operating a CSA model works well for her farm, because her CSA members are excited about seasonal eating – from green beans to kohlrabi!
The centennial farm Coop Creations lives on has been in her husband’s family for generations, and Kayla has taken the old fallen barn on-site and made treasures for her community to enjoy. Each piece is completely unique and each knot and nail hole tells the story of a place rooted in agriculture. This is complemented by river rock frames for Michigan lake memories, and signs that fit wonderfully into the area’s summer vacation homes.
Those in Northern Michigan can join the Coop Creations Summer CSA for 12 weeks of fresh, fun produce – or those up north for less time can find their mobile veggie stand to pick up tomatoes or cut flowers onsite at the farm and throughout the area! Her produce can also be found at local businesses such as the Sherwood Pita Wagon and Cabin Creek Coffee. You can connect with Kayla on Facebook or Instagram to learn more about her farm, designs, and food community!
Claire Butler is the Content Strategy Specialist for Taste the Local Difference. Contact her at [email protected].