possibly of interest . . .




“The Mitchells eventually settled in southwest Michigan where, after working at an aluminum factory and planning for 18 years,

Philemon realized that the sandy, acidic soils in the region were well-suited for blueberries.

And so began Mitchell’s Blueberry Farm, with the first planting of bushes in 1968.


Fifty-two growing seasons later, the Mitchell family is still at it, on the same five acres of the same soil, producing 10,000-12,000 pounds of certified organic blueberries each year.

As management of the farm transitions to the third generation, Philemon and Jeanne’s eldest granddaughter (of 38 grandchildren!), Kourtney Ketterhagen, is the matriarch in training.

“To be able to farm is an honor and a privilege,” she explains. “It is about the legacy and the connection with nature that we feel is critical to our human experience.”


full story by rachel zegerius at


craig k harris

emeritus associate professor

department of sociology

michigan state university

east lansing  michigan  48824


If you would like to access a searchable archive of the all the previous Mich-Organic listserv postings copy this URL and paste in your browser address field