We deeply care for our farmland. We are not all about yield, but about the quality and vitality of what we bring to the farmer’s market and to your plate. We know that the nutrition in your produce comes from our soil and we work hard to care for this resource. According to the Soil Science of America, “Soils sustain life”. At the most basic level, soil supports and nourishes the plants we eat.
Healthy soil makes for clean, safe water. Soil is a non-renewable resource and taking care of it is essential for our future! Soil organisms are the source of many important medicines used to treat many diseases and healthy soil supports a diverse population of micro-organisms.
We conduct extensive soil testing to properly maintain essential nutrients and soil structure. We use natural fertilizers from spoiled produce and livestock whenever possible. We plant cover crops like rye to prevent soil erosion and replenish nutrients when plowed under. We regularly rotate our crops, ensuring the soil is not stressed or stripped of nutrients. We pump water from a pond on site and keep the ditches clear to ensure proper drainage takes place. We pick our produce at the height of ripeness, wash it, and pack it in coolers. Our goal each year is to leave the land better than when we started. We farm 20 acres of muck land in Jenison, where the original farm was established, and over 150 acres in Zeeland.
We are not an organic farm, but we strive to only use chemicals when the quality of the crop is threatened by pests or disease. We use biological and natural disease prevention solutions as much as possible. This helps minimize exposure to unnecessary chemicals and to ensure that your produce is healthy, nutritious, and delicious. The appearance may not be perfect but we try hard to balance sustainable production practices with a product that you are proud to bring home to your family. We strongly believe in protecting the resources we have been blessed with. We strive to keep the land and crops we have at their healthiest.
In 1902, Dutch immigrants, Marinus & Maria Staal, settled in Jenison, Michigan on muck land that posesses rich, black soil. They built a homestead and barns and began living their dream with their two children, Cornelius and Catherine.
In the mid 1920's, Casey Visser, of Jenison, came along as a hired hand for Marinus. He fell in love with Marinus' daughter and they married in 1928. Catherine and Casey continued her father's dream and the farm was soon named Visser Farm. They raised ten children and their eldest, Minard, took interest in the business.
In 1953, Minard married Anna Meekhof. They had three children: Douglas, Beverly, and Philip.
In 1970, Minard and Anna purchased our Zeeland location. This allowed the farm to expand greatly by providing room for coolers, washers, storage sheds, and greenhouses, in addition to the muck land in Jenison which provides rich growing conditions for our carrots, radishes, and green onions. In 1992, Anna passed away. Minard remarried Ann's sister, Alice, in 1994 and they reside on the farm today.
Minard's youngest son, Phil, married Cindy Koetsier in 1980. They currently own and manage the farm's operations including our greenhouses. They can be found each week at the Holland Farmers Market. They have seven children: Casey, Andrew, Jo Ellen, Jacob, William, Luke, & Isaac.
Case married Megan Schripsema in 2010. He oversees our restaurant sales and deliveries and manages our Fulton Street Farmers Market stand. Megan contributes whenever she can and stays home with their two children, Anna & Charles.
Andrew is employed elsewhere, but still finds time to manage our Rockford Farmers Market each Saturday and helps in many other ways, including keeping track of much of our financials.
In 2011, Jo Ellen married Rob Havenaar. They reside in the Kalamazoo area with their daughter, Rebecca. Jo Ellen enjoys helping at the Holland Farmers Market whenever she can.
Jacob married Shelby in January of 2016! Jake focuses on all our mechanical repairs, fieldwork, greenhouses, and also oversees the Shipshewana Flea Market, Ada Village Market, and Grand Haven Farmers Market. Shelby works full time in Human Resources at a manufacturing plant in Holland and also manages the CSA program, Facebook page, website and works at the Grand Haven Market.
William aids in our fieldwork and works hard to educate himself and oversee areas concerning irrigation, sprays, fertilizing, etc. He oversees the South Haven Farmers Market each week.
Luke is a recent high school graduate and is easing into his role at the farm. He is learning a lot and helps wherever he is needed. He particularly enjoys assisting in the fields and with mechanical work. Luke has been running the Metro Health Farmers market this year.
Isaac attends high school and recently got his driver's license. He is learning a lot about the farm and helps wherever he is needed.
Our family is growing and changing but we all enjoy working on the farm in different capacities.
At 85 years old, Minard still enjoys working in the fields on the tractor and overseeing things as much as possible. Our grandpa is a testament to hard work ethic, faithfulness, and has a passion for doing what he loves.
We are grateful for the many friends and family that continue to help in the greenhouses, at the farmers markets, in the fields, loading trucks, and so much more. Our hope is to continue the farming legacy that Marinus and Maria started all those years ago when they came to America with a prayer and a dream and a plot of dirt.
10791 Blair Street | Zeeland, MI 49464 | Tel: (616) 875-8559 | firstname.lastname@example.org
©2014 Visser Farms