Transplants with a Story

Twenty five years ago, Karen Golden moved to Highland, Michigan with her young family. Looking for a way to feed her family healthful food, Karen began gardening and has never looked back. Fast forward to 2018 and Karen has turned her gardening passion into a thriving transplant production business: Michigan Heirlooms.

KarenLocated in Highland, Michigan Heirlooms is a premiere grower of heirloom transplants for home and market gardeners. All transplants are grown following organic methods and only OMRI approved inputs are used in production. Karen saves all her own seed for the transplant production and often receives gifts of seeds from contacts all over the world. These plants have deep roots in history and growing them preserves unique flavor profiles, nutrition, culture, and biodiversity. Her seed collection is immense, but a favorite of mine was a bag of 2,000 year old squash seeds found by a friend in a cave in the desert Southwest.

In addition to a passion for preserving heirloom plants, Karen is passionate about educating her customers. She cultivates a demonstration garden each year to showcase the diversity of growing options available for home gardeners. Anytime the farm is open, you’ll likely find her in the demo garden sharing growing tips and tricks with customers. Karen’s passion is also showcased every year at Michigan Heirloom’s Tomatofest, a celebration of “growing, nurturing and enjoying the flavors of heirloom tomatoes, peppers and everything associated with the garden.

To learn more about Michigan Heirlooms and order transplants (she ships!) visit:

Kelly Wilson, RDN is Taste the Local Difference SE MI Local Food Coordinator. She is currently dreaming of spring and all the beautiful herbs she’ll be planting in her herb garden. Contact her at [email protected]