Tilian Farm Development Center facilitates new
farm business development in order to increase diversified
production for local markets, year round in our food shed.
Tilian is a new farm development center that is blossoming on 44 acres of land leased for three years from like-minded Ann Arbor Township at $1 per year, allowing us to provide farmers with land at no cost. In partnership with local farmers and surrounding community members, Tilian aims to build a prolific, secure, and vibrant foodshed here in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Collaboration is key in reaching the goal of the county growing 10% of the food it consumes by 2020.
Providing experienced growers who wish to become farmers with fertile land, tools, and a support network for a two-year period will enable new farm business owners to develop their business models and guide them in their transition into farming as a livelihood, on their own land. Such local farm business development should, over time, have many positive impacts in our region, including the preservation of farmland (as it is repopulated with a new generation of farmers), job creation and economic development in the food sector, environmental stewardship (through the promotion of small-scale, sustainable agriculture), enhanced viability of our local food system, and improved health outcomes as the quantity and availability of fresh local food year-round increases. Imagine a vibrant and fertile greenbelt, a thriving local food economy and culture, of fresh, local and sustainably grown food available year-round for all at plenitude of markets and other venues. Imagine a healthier population, cities and towns that nourish themselves by nutrients grown from their own soil.