How did it come to pass that Mitch and Michelle would become passionate farmers after long careers and experience in many different cities, and roles? We could say that there are no coincidences and that we somehow manifested our next journey, but it definitively came about from a series of fortunate events that led to where we are today! Starting several years ago, Mitch would tell granddaughter Clara a series of bedtime stories featuring “Billy the Baaad Goat”, which included “Father John & Farmher Joan”. The “Farmers” were loosely based on a couple who decide to leave the City and buy a farm, grow crops (including strawberries) and lovingly raise their rescue animals. The original illustrations – and in the final book “The Big Yellow Rocket Ship” – also have a large red barn that is strikingly similar to what is now known as Summit Farms.
Around the same time, Michelle had the unique idea to build an “adult playground” (as we were calling it then) on a small farm – to which Mitch would be happy growing some vegetables, making salsas, and maybe a few more crops. This “Young@Heart” area would allow adults to be kids again and to play and maybe try out her labyrinth.
Mitch – in his so-called “semi-retirement” started investing, advising and working with several innovative tech companies leading in their respective areas – and one of these was in Ag-Tech and Smart Farms/Orchards. Though he had always enjoyed gardening on a much smaller level, there was something about growing and nurturing living things and the challenge of making it a business that helped light the fuse also.
After visiting some of these trials, one farm stood out as a potential model for our vision. Mitch drew up the vision and started talking to realtors with no real commitment. After talking to one realtor, describing our vision; within days he said he “found our dream property”. He was right … after one visit, the Lewis’ made an offer, sold the Redmond house and were taking stewardship of the property within three months. Our mission we have now determined is to help others find joy in the natural protected beauty that is Summit Farms.
With love & growth to you all!
Michelle & Mitch