From seed to sale, a family legacy
Just three miles from Central Michigan University's campus lies hundreds of sunflowers as far as the eye can see with a bright red barn siting in the middle of the farm.
Jamie Klumpp took over Heirloom Grove farm two years ago and turned it into a specialty crop farm. The eighty-acre farm has 150 fruit trees, 250 blueberry bushes, a grape vineyard and more.
"This property just really resonated with me compared to all the other farms that we farm," Klumpp said.
Klumpp and her husband Mike are from Shepherd, Michigan and are high school sweethearts. The couple has over 20 years’ experience farming and try to be as organic as possible.
In 2000, Klumpp graduated from Central Michigan University where she majored in interior design and minored in business. While in college, she would design spec houses and her husband's crew would build them and together sell them for profit.
"That foundation from CMU and the design department really has shaped my entire career with whatever I've done," Klumpp said.
Fruit trees and flowers aren't the only new crops that Klumpp is growing; she is also growing 20 acres of hemp for oil. When the 2018 farm bill passed allowing farmers to grow hemp in Michigan, Klumpp's husband Mike brought up the idea of growing it themselves. Since then, Klumpp's husband Mike started his own hemp processor business called Ag Marvels due to a lack of processors in Michigan.
"I was incredibly skeptical because I've never been a weed user ever in my life so my husband's like, this is a great opportunity with this farm bill and so I was a hard sell on it," Klumpp said.
The oldest of the Klumpp children, Blake, had been working as a salesman for the farm since he was 15 years old when COVID first hit. Now at 18 and just graduated high school, Blake is working full time at the family farm.
“It's still a really bad rep all around it (hemp) but it's not weed and the education portion of it really needs to be out there,” Blake said.
The Klumpp family wants to educate the community on hemp and its benefits for health and the environment. Last year, the farm partnered with the University of Illinois by sending hemp seeds they grew so the students can study and research them.
Not only does the family raise their own hemp, but they also have a CBD skincare line. The muscle freeze is the best seller and their most recent product is CBD infused dog treats.
A Family Oriented Business
“I think we've been so family oriented with the farm and other businesses we've had that I think it just helps and kind of builds us as a business,” Blake said. “Because you know, we can trust each other and then we're just all on the same page.”
The Klumpp family runs the farm together with their four children. Blake (18) does sales, Kaitlyn (16) does marketing and design, Kaila (13) does accounting, and Brai (10) is the beekeeper for seven beehives.
"I think just growing up with my parents and always being in the business side of things and never hiding, letting us be involved in that kind of stuff, it really just inspired me especially with her design background and everything," Kaitlyn said.
With the entire family working together, Jamie said that the kids are investing in their future with the farm.
“Just because they are younger, they have such value that they bring to the table,” Klumpp said. “Like the girls with their marketing perspective is very different than what I'm aware of because I'm still the Facebook generation where they're [apart of the] TikTok generation and with his (Blake’s) ideas that he comes up with for sales and how to reach their generation; I mean, there's such value that comes with that.”
And with that thought in mind, that's how Jamie came up with the name Heirloom Grove for the farm. A special thing that she does with her family.
"I kind of wanted it to be something that we could pass down from myself to my kids and their kids because we [are] going to grow crops here that can last generations," Klumpp said.
Klumpp is planning on having more events for the public and more crops in the spring. This weekend
Heirloom Grove is having their last U-Pick sunflowers and first ever U-Pick hemp this weekend from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information visit their website.