Frog Holler Organic Farm
Frog Holler Farm has been selling organic produce at the Ann
Arbor Farmer's Market since 1972. We start the season with a large
selection of organic vegetable and herb seedlings, specializing
in many heirloom varieties. We start harvesting greens in May
and continue to offer a wide selection of vegetables, some fruits
and our specialty salad mix right through October, and sometimes
up until Thanksgiving.
We are a family farm with our three sons supplying major "hoe
power." We have had lots of help over the years from friends
and young people interested in learning more about organic growing.
We like to build community through our regular customers at the
Market and through regular Open House/Barn Dances at the farm
where we can share, food friendship, music and our beautiful setting.
In September, 2007, we celebrated 35 years on the farm with
a two-day party/music festival which we dubbed Holler Fest.
When everyone started talking about "next year", we
realized that Southeast Michigan could benefit from a regular
event in celebration of good food and local culture. Holler Fest
2013 is scheduled for August 23-25. Join us! www.hollerfest.com
Frog Holler Story
The Frog Holler story begins in 1972 when Ken King was co-owner
and head cook at Indian Summer Natural Foods Restaurant in Ann Arbor.
Ken had already been thinking of having a farm to grow food for
the restaurant when word came that an elderly lady was selling a
165 acre parcel located 30 miles from Ann Arbor. This turned out
to not actually be a farm, but an irresistible piece of wilderness
snuggled into the Irish Hills of southeast Lower Michigan. Irresistible
at least to Ken and his partners who, with a promise to owner Mrs.
Cora Lees Gesell that they would maintain the farm in an environmentally
sensitive manner (and to keep the name Frog Holler), were in fact
able to buy the land.
One of the partners, by the way, was Rick Peshkin, who was then the food purchaser
for Indian Summer and who was already looking for ways to develop and expand
in that area. Rick did go on to create what is now Ann Arbor's premiere produce
wholesaler, Frog Holler Produce, and also The Produce Station. Rick's trucks
are visible around Ann Arbor and it seems an endless source of confusion (but
certainly not ill will) as each business goes on trying to explain two Frog Hollers.
Anyway, as Rick's business began to develop and expand, and as another partner
took on more restaurant responsibility, and as Ken felt a deepening connection
and commitment to the farm, it was inevitable that the original partnership would
break up, as it did around 1975. From that time on, Frog Holler is the story
of Ken and his wife Cathy (former Indian Summer salad maker) and their three
sons Billy, Kenny, and Edwin.
During their first years as organic truck farmers, Ken and Cathy experienced
the proverbial steep learning curve. While they learned how to garden, Ken purchased
an old cider press and made apple cider for natural food stores in Ann Arbor.
In 1975 they took their first crop of lettuce to the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market,
and soon became established as the first organic growers at the market. In 2008
they added a CSA to their marketing options so that shoppers could enjoy their
produce using the “Share box” model.
Ken King passed away in 2009. Frog Holler is now held in trust by Cathy, Billy,
Kenny and Edwin, who continue to farm organically and share the beautiful piece
of land with the community through farm events, their farm festival, Holler Fest,
and the fresh organic produce they bring to the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market.