Second Spring Farm
Second Spring Farm
Flint-native Reid Johnston starting working at a CSA farm right out of high school when he was just 19 years old. “I don’t really remember what drew me to farming back then but working for myself and improving my farm every year is what appeals to me now,” says Reid. He named his farm, Second Spring, from an inspiring Camus quote, “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
Reid has been renting his Leelanau County land for the past four years and is currently in the process of buying it outright. Ownership will bring lots of changes including the introduction of perennial crops (asparagus and raspberries), a new packing shed and irrigation well, and hoop houses for summer tomatoes and winter greens.
Farming, although very rewarding, also has its share of challenges, about which he is candid. “An organic farm is like an entity. Nurturing and molding my farm and watching it change and improve is very rewarding. The biggest challenge for me is the intense time commitment. From the time I start up my greenhouse in March, through till Thanksgiving, I don’t really feel like I can leave the farm for very long and definitely not overnight. Also, each spring I put up everything I’ve got financially and that can make for a stressful growing season.
Farming requires a wide variety of skills and inventiveness in addition to hard physical work, so the fact that it isn’t very profitable can be discouraging sometimes.”To help with the workload, Reid plans to hire more help.
Second Spring grows a wide variety of vegetables and supplies Oryana with carrots, beets, broccoli, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, melons, onions, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, summer and winter squash, beans, peas, cabbage and more. He sells at area farm markets too.
Reid is also starting a CSA program this year; anyone interested in purchasing a share can get more information at secondspringfarm.net.