Fisheye Farms grows sustainably-raised produce, herbs, and flowers for restaurants and markets in the heart of Detroit, Michigan.
100% of $106,375
Meet the Farmers
It wasn’t until they each moved to Chicago to attend DePaul University that Andy Chae and Amy Eckert became enamored with urban agriculture and the opportunity it presents to positively impact the world. They each pursued volunteer and apprenticeship opportunities throughout their studies and, after graduating, traveled to Brazil to work on an organic farm. They eventually returned to Andy’s home in Detroit, and where many others saw vacant lots, Andy and Amy saw a farming future. Thanks to family in the neighboring Kimbrough Dry Cleaners, the pair broke ground on their first site in the West Village in 2015 and started producing vegetables and cut flowers on less than one-tenth of an acre of borrowed land. They made $10,000 in the first year, and the success spurred the purchase of land in Pontiac to expand the project in 2016. Andy and Amy were married on the site in September of 2018, a reminder that in addition to growing good food, nurturing strong community and providing space for inspiration and celebration are equally important aspects of Fisheye Farm’s mission.
After a successful first season demonstrated high market demand, they utilized Steward funding to purchase nine connected, previously vacant lots from the City of Detroit in Core City—amending soil, installing irrigation, and building hoop houses to support the growth of their business. This 0.89 acre farm is now their main production site, while the Pontiac site is dedicated to low-maintenance garlic production.
Through consultation with Steward, Fisheye Farms has been fully focused on supplying Detroit restaurants—a market large enough to sustain their new efforts.
Fisheye is a Certified Naturally Grown farm, with hopes of becoming USDA Certified Organic by 2022. They practice regenerative no-till production and support community members and neighbors with tools, skills, and jobs. Being an urban farm allows Fisheye to keep food miles low, and to explore and implement creative uses of waste and materials.
Partnership with Steward
In addition to capital building, Fisheye Farms also partnered with the Steward Farm Services team to increase operational efficiencies through bookkeeping services, website creation, and the installation of an automated online sales platform, the success of which was recently featured in Forbes. These improvements reduced their weekly administrative time by 50%, resulting in an estimated annual savings of $24,000.
Become a steward of the land
Join a growing community of sustainably-minded stewards reaping the rewards from responsible farming