The Story of Sand Lily Farms
Kim and Mark Ludwig formed Sand Lily Farms in 2005 after
purchasing a small parcel of land in Allegan County,
The name comes from the description of our sandy soils and a play on
Kim’s maiden name, Lillibridge. We take
as a mascot the wild prickly pear cactus that grows on the property. These “sandlilys” give us 2 inch yellow
blooms in July and fruits in the fall.
We hope to be as persistent as these plants. The farm has four buildings which formerly supported several vegetable
farms working the muck fields to the north and east of the farm. All that space has allowed us to dedicate
buildings to be a shop, animal barn, storage and an open sided shed is used for
social events. We have hosted several
block parties with the help of our neighbors and hope for many more to come.
Our “learning curve” has been rough at times as we experimented with
vegetable production, meat chickens, sheep and beef. We have settled in to a model of beef and
lamb production we are happy with. We rent six acres across the road from our main farm and would consider expanding if good terms could be had. Our county is a hot bed of agriculture with world class fruit farming as well as big livestock operations, so there is a lot of competition for land. We have been pleased to find there are many folks literally a few blocks away interested in sustainable agriculture and a welcoming attitude from the neighbors. The farm has steadily improved in many ways as fences have been built, the trees have grown and the grass gotten thicker. We still have some challenges with our old buildings and dry soils and we know agriculture always has some surprises. Sand Lily Farms is at the corner of 115th Avenue and 59th Street and we're thankful to have it. We are a customer inspected facility open for visits by appointment.
Mark Ludwig is a graduate of Michigan State where he discovered soil science and got interested in agriculture. He spent many years in Wisconsin where he learned about rotational grazing. In 1997 he completed the University of Wisconsin's Short Course for Beginning Dairy Farmers, which has a grass based curriculum. He enjoys at long last building up his own farm. In recent years he has been working for his local Conservation District.
Kim Lillibridge Ludwig Is a graduate of Michigan State University and a practicing Quality Engineer making automobile components. She convinced Mark to return to Michigan by agreeing to buy him a farm during an extended romantic comedy.
Nebiyat Ludwig joined team Sand Lily during the summer of 2010 from her native Ethiopia. She is a fan of swimming, cake, purple stuff and her new parents. She is looking forward to the return of the cattle this spring.
Looking East at a Winter's daybreak February 2011.