Bay Mills Community College's Waishkey Bay Farm is a 40-acre property being developed as a teaching, research, and incubator facility focusing on sustainable agriculture and food production that is consistent with traditional Anishinaabek values. Current operations include hoop house vegetable production, hosting a community garden, pasture poultry production and processing, domestic blueberry production & novel berry research, tending honey bee hives, raising grass-fed beef, and industrial hemp research. Waishkey Bay Farm has been MAEAP verified since 2013.
Location/address: 10135 W Mills Road, Brimley, MI (location only, no mail service)
Hours: M-F 9 am – 3 pm; call ahead as we often have off-farm errands
Gitigaan Hall Phone: (906) 248-1097
Cloud Sparks - Farm Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Arnulfo (AR) Ortiz - Farm Technician, email@example.com
The purpose of our community garden is to provide a space in which folks can get together to grow healthy, nutrient-dense foods and learn about growing from one another. Individual community garden plots are made available to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. Farm staff prepares the garden in Spring and alerts growers as to when they can begin planting. Waishkey Bay Farm, with help from community partners FRTEP and BALAC, host a seed starting party each spring. Folks from the community are welcome to join us in starting seeds for the upcoming growing season. Starting trays, soil, and an assortment of heirloom seeds are made available free of charge. If you would like to reserve a garden plot, message us on our Waishkey Bay Farm facebook page, call the office at 906-248-1097, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This program started in 2016 to encourage community ownership of the beef herd at Waishkey Bay Farm. Folks have the option of purchasing an entire herd share (1 live steer), ½ herd share (1/2 live steer) or ¼ herd share (1/4 live steer). Your cattle are raised in a good, healthy, sustainable way. We have sourced great, local grass-based genetics for cattle that thrive in a grass-fed system! During the grazing season, your cattle are moved gently within the grazing cells of each paddock in a rotational system. In the winter, your cattle are fed hay grown without any chemicals on BMIC hay ground, as well as alfalfa pellets. They do not consume grain or GMO feeds of any kind. As owners of the cattle, folks pay a monthly boarding fee for alfalfa pellets, straw (bedding), mineral & salt throughout the ownership period; there is no charge for hay grown on BMIC land or for farm staff’s labor. When cattle are ready to be processed, they are hauled to the local processor of the owner's choice; all processing costs are the responsibility of the owners.
If you are interested to learn more about this opportunity or to purchase a herd share in the Community Beef Herd for your own great-tasting, healthy, well-raised, local beef, please contact the Waishkey Bay Farm at (906)248-1097!
Since the program’s inception in 2011, Waishkey Bay Farm has raised and processed hundreds of pastured poultry meat chickens for our community. These chickens are fed only non-GMO feed, never receive any antibiotics, and are housed outdoors in chicken tractors that are moved daily. In the past, community members have been able to trade their help processing in exchange for chickens for their consumption (at a rate of $10/ hour for 1 chicken). Other community members have been able to purchase chickens for $10/bird based on an annually updated list of past buyers. The farm also donates chickens annually to various food programs in our community.
Our beehives at Waishkey Bay Farm serve a dual purpose, as do most of our programs. They allow us to provide experiential learning opportunities focusing on beekeeping, honey extraction, and processing; while the honey itself offers a multitude of health benefits. Each year, Waishkey Bay Farm hosts a Honey Pot Gathering, partnered with BALAC and FRTEP, in which members of the community are encouraged to come out and learn to process honey. Participants are able to take home some fresh honey to enjoy.