Oryana Natural Foods Market
Oryana Natural Foods Market
260 East Tenth Street | Traverse City, MI 49684 | (231) 947-0191

Monday - Saturday 7:30am-9:00pm | Sunday 9:00am-7:00pm
To place Café orders call (231) 346-2852 

Meadowlark Farm

Meadowlark Farm

Location: Lake Leelanau
Items supplied to Oryana: carrots, onions, tomatoes, cooking greens, beans, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, herbs, cabbage, potatoes,  radishes, peppers
Farming practices: certified organic

Jenny Tutlis and Jon Watts both grew up in Traverse City and met in high school. After college, a peace corps stint in Papua New Guinea and various farm jobs in the U.S., the couple decided to start their own farm and have been organic farming ever since. This is Meadowlark’s 21st year of operation and it’s the longest running CSA farm in the region.
The Lake Leelanau farm has 20 acres, with 7 in cultivation, a heated greenhouse, and 3 hoop houses. According to Jenny, the growing season starts in March with a spring share and ends at winter solstice, thus providing food for the local community for 10 months a year. The two have been supplying organic produce to Oryana since 1995. A few of the many Meadowlark vegetables Oryana sells include tomatoes, beets, herbs, chard, onions, potatoes, kohlrabi, turnips, shallots, winter squash, melons, cut flowers and baby ginger.


“We have been the same size for about seven years and instead of getting bigger, we grow deeper,” says Jenny.  Instead of focusing on expansion, Jon and Jenny do what they can to increase efficiency and quality. They pay attention to the CSA shareholders wants and needs by offering various share sizes and add-on options to accommodate different sized families and cooking preferences, from couples who are new to cooking fresh, healthy, local food to those who are hard core juicers and feeding a big household. In fact, their CSA feeds over 500 people. They are particularly proud of their greens education. They’ve been selling kale to Oryana since the co-op was located on Bay St. and have made educating people to eat greens a cornerstone of their farm. “Needless to say we are enjoying the current kale and green smoothie trend!”  


Garlic is another one of their favorite, long term crops. They’ve been growing and saving their own strain of garlic for 21 years, each year selecting, saving and replanting the biggest, best and tastiest heads.  They grow 3/4 of an acre of garlic each year, or 28,000 heads. They call their garlic “meadowlark red.”  


Jenny and Jon’s children, Ella, 19, and Eli, 17, have been an integral part of the farm. And they are not the only youth who have benefited from farm life. Meadowlark has nurtured many other children over the years when parents who worked the farm brought their babies with them. These children have grown up exposed to farm life and some are now entering their college years. “Having grown up here, they just “get it” on a really deep cellular level,” says Jenny. Some of the young workers have gone on to start farms of their own. “While they may or may not decide to be farmers some day, they have learned about where food comes from, learned to appreciate fresh, delicious food and they know how to work hard.”


After all these years of digging in the dirt, Jenny is as enthusiastic as ever. “We love being a community farm and feeding our community high quality, healthy, organic food. This nurtures us and keeps us going, even when the weather throws a curve ball (like the most recent hail storm). We’ve learned that being diverse and growing a variety of crops keeps the farm resilient. I love growing and trying new crops, pushing the edges of what we can and cannot grow in our region.”
Learn more about Meadowlark Farm at www.meadowlarkfarmcsa.com.

 

 

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Breads at Oryana
 

Delivered Daily

Bay Bread
Old Mission Multigrain
Stone House Bread
Pleasanton Bakery
9 Bean Rows
Third Coast Bakery

Oryana's Own:
 Bagels
Challah
Quick Breads
Wheat Sandwich Bread
WF Sandwich Bread
WF Vegan Flaxseed Bread