Grown with love
We’ve gardened together for decades. Purchasing a farm was inevitable.
In May of 2015, my husband and I pursued our lifelong dream of purchasing a farm on the Leelanau peninsula. We thought we were purchasing a farm with a home, ramshackle pole barn, garage, and forty-acres of overgrown land that would be ideal for a small vineyard and orchard. Little did we know what laid beneath the weeds.
Having been lifelong suburban Detroiters, trading in that lifestyle for one of farm work was a big—but exciting—change. Since meeting, we've found a shared passion for gardening together. This love of gardening, paired with Jim's lifetime hobby of winemaking, made this farm a dream realized. Thus, the name, Inevitable Farm.
We signed all the papers and then walked through the farm property thoroughly for the first time. As we were tromping through fields of weeds we noticed some small, familiar looking plants. We knew right away they were peonies. We walked right, left, forward, and back and everywhere we went, there was another plant. On the first day, we thought there were probably a hundred scrawny plants in rows. In the months ahead, we determined there were more than a thousand!
“We walked right, left, forward, and back and everywhere we went, there was another plant.”
After consulting with one of our new neighbors, we learned that the former owner was a flower farmer. She passed away several months earlier and had no family in the area, so the listing agent did not know the history of the farm. No one was quite clear about the last time the plants had been tended to.
Fortunately, perhaps, experts advised us that our land was not ideal for a vineyard. Apple trees could be planted but it would take years for them to be productive. So–voila!–we had our new and unexpected mandate: we would grow peonies and sell them as cut flowers. This new business venture was a prime way to integrate and contribute to our new community! We were thrilled.
June of 2016 was our first harvest. It was exciting to go out to the fields each morning and see what had appeared since the day before. Ultimately, we harvested buckets and buckets of beautiful vintage peonies!