The story of Providence Organic Farm begins with the glacial hills of Antrim county’s lake shorelines, and good soil. By keeping the ‘living soil’ overlooking Torch Lake’s north end in optimal health and free from chemicals and pesticides, the lands here produce extra flavorful vegetables and strawberries with terroir – the taste of home.
How Providence Organic Farm Started
Ryan and Andrea Romeyn, the farmers and founders of Providence Organic Farm, started their story as college students, falling in love with farming while on a trip to southern Georgia and Koinonia Partners, which has an organic garden. Inspired by what they experienced, Ryan started a garden at the Bay Area Adventure School in Traverse City, and proposed to Andrea with a set of leather sandals in that space, inviting her to ‘walk on the same journey together.’
A degree in sustainable agriculture, four kids, and a scenic land purchase later, Providence Organic Farm was born. Now it not only hosts fields of organically grown vegetables, strawberries, and melons, but also pasture for grass-fed sheep, Belted Galloway cows and Idaho Pasture pigs, and an on-farm market.
“Farming is fraught with a lot of uncertainty, expense, and a multitude of challenges, so… we didn’t go into this lightly.” says Andrea Romeyn. She adds that it was the incredible support of their community, from their local co-op to a local FSA agent in search of organic farms, that made the decision possible.
The market is a hub in Northwest Michigan, serving their own produce, but also healthy food products year-round. Products from other Michigan food producers are plentiful, including kombucha from Cultured Kombucha Co., mushrooms from Daybreak Dreamfarm, and even local soap from Wildflower Soapworks. Over 40 local sources are represented on their shelves, many also being fellow organic farmers of the area. Their coffee bar and breakfast/lunch menu include seasonal specials and grown-on-site food.
From the community built around their farm and market, authentic Mexican food pop ups run by employees Moniqua and Chico buzz with excitement on select Saturdays throughout the year. From birria tacos to strawberry tamales, every item on the rotating menu is mouthwatering, and worth signing up for the newsletter to stay in the loop! Not only do they keep you informed about the Mexican food pop ups, but also opportunities to tour the farm or meet the freshly-born lambs in the Spring. They are also hosting tours with Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology with artists, writers and even herbalists.
How to Connect with Providence
Sound like something you’d like to be a part of? They have a strong CSA community of 400 families with pickups that span from Gaylord to Beaver Island to Traverse City, and each sign up in the growing season includes a cookbook to help use your extra-delicious vegetables in extra-delicious ways! With many options to choose from, you can find a share that matches your family’s needs. You can find more details and sign up on their site.
What else should folks know about Providence Organic Farm? Andrea says “We so love and appreciate our community! We truly would not be able to do what we’re doing without our neighbors, friends & local food co-ops and food hub. We’re proud to know so many local food activists and participants! We feel blessed.”
With a warm coffee creation in hand, gazing out at the healthy fields and to Torch Lake, it’s easy to see why Andrea and Ryan named their farm Providence.
Claire Butler is the Content Strategy Specialist for Taste the Local Difference. Contact her at [email protected].