Here at Reserve, our fresh, seasonal menu would not be possible without our local farm partners. This month, we took a trip to Kessler Family Farm to plant crops that will be used in our dishes throughout the summer and the fall!
About Reserve’s Partnership with Kessler Family Farm
One of the pillars of our business is the desire and the responsibility to partner with other small local businesses to contribute to the overall health of our West Michigan community. It would be much easier & often less expensive to utilize large box store purveyors to source produce for our menus. But the easy way is not always the right way, and it doesn’t always align with our ethos.
Choosing to partner with Kessler Family Farm gives us the ability to put a face behind a product and to attach a story to a dish. This spring, we were able to meet with Josh and plan out things that we would love to see grown and discuss any issues we had with product from the past season. Being a part of the planning and planting process gives our team a much stronger connection with the food we will be working with later on in the season, and is something that is not possible when using large purveyors. Kessler is a small farm, they’re new to the scene, and they are actively contributing to a new way of thinking and operating within our food system.
We have a duty as chefs and restaurateurs to create active and systemic change within our food systems, and our choice to work with Kessler is a conscious and intentional effort. The growing season in Michigan is quite short compared to other regions in our country, so the window that each item is available is small, sometimes only just a week or two. It’s both a challenge and a joy to be able to showcase what our farmers are able to produce in their effort to work alongside mother nature.
Reap what you sow, and enjoy the bounty.
About Kessler Family Farm
Kessler Family Farm is located in Byron Center, MI and is truly a family affair. The farm would not be a reality without the help of family and friends who are willing to get their hands dirty. Josh and Stephanie Kessler and their four kids live, work, and play on the farm and Josh’s parents, Doug and Marcia, are a regular fixture on the farm helping with seeding, weeding, harvesting, and keeping an eye on children. His sisters, Rachel and Kaitlin, and his brother-in-law, Josh, also jump in whenever needed.
The dream of starting a small local farm began in 2015 when Josh and Stephanie were living in Alger Heights and realized how much they loved growing vegetables and fruit in their small backyard. In the fall of 2016, they moved to their current location in Byron Center. Their home and farm is situated on 15 acres of beautiful, black, mucky soil. They intensively cultivate vegetables in a large garden that is just under an acre. They grow a wide variety of garden vegetables, ranging from Arugula to Zucchini!
Kessler Family Farm is a certified organic farm and grows over 100 different vegetable varieties using organic growing practices to produce the best tasting and healthiest food possible.
In growing all their vegetables and fruits, they subscribe to the philosophy of less is more. They grow everything WITHOUT the use of any synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, or any other chemicals or sprays that might compromise the quality, health, and taste of what is grown.
The reason Kessler Family Farm chooses to grow vegetables in the way they do is because they take seriously the responsibility of providing healthy food to our family, friends, and neighbors. This is their motivation for implementing growing practices that make for only the healthiest vegetables and that also protect the ecological integrity of the world in which we live.
Next time you visit Reserve, try our delicious farm-to-table dishes and let us know what you think by tagging @reservegr on social media. View Reserve’s seasonal menu here and make a reservation. Join our mailing list to stay up to date with the latest from Reserve Wine & Food. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more.