Hi, I'm Danielle! I've been the primary driver of this business since its inception: the manager/primary farm worker/florist/designer, etc....
My personal path to farming was a winding one, but it began with wanting to live more lightly on the Earth & be more self-sufficient. I have always loved being outside & learning about the natural world. I became more interested in food & healing more specifically while working at a small health food store in Tucson, Arizona. For years, I steeped myself in information about homesteading, foraging, & herbal medicine-making. My husband Nathan & I began talking more & more about starting a farming operation of our own. At the beginning, our ideas included a vineyard & winery. To learn more, we got involved with the nascent wine industry in Southern Arizona, & volunteered on vineyards there.
Nate returned to school, completing an MS in Agriculture at Washington State University, along with certificates in sustainable agriculture, viticulture, & enology. After he completed his studies there & worked for a time at a farm & winery in Northern Michigan, we both decided to return to school--again! & we were both accepted to Michigan State University to study Community Sustainability at the graduate level.
The following spring, in 2017, we started growing—with a 20’ by 20’ plot at Northwind Community Garden in East Lansing, a little patch in my mom’s backyard, & a raised bed at home. It wasn’t much, but we were excited to finally be taking the first tiny steps towards our dream. That same year I also did a volunteer internship at Urbandale Farm in Lansing, & began selling floral arrangements made with flowers purchased from local growers. The next spring, we were able to lease 1/2 an acre through the Ingham County Land Bank & expand operations a bit.
In 2018 I completed MSU's Organic Farmer Training Program, which helped me acquire hands-on skills & practical business & agricultural knowledge. The tips & ideas offered up & inspired by the farmers at the many farms across the state were invaluable. As I learned more & completed my graduate studies, Nate & I continued to think about how we wanted to design our future farm, & this evolved.
Family vacation in Sedona, AZ: Me, Danielle Brugnone, my husband Nathan, & our sons, Asa & Miles.
Nate & I are, in our hearts, a musician & an artist, which is why--in addition to growing a variety of flowers, vegetables, & fruits--we plan to offer on-farm classes & other events. (Think: farm-to-table dinners with live music, writing & art workshops, & more!) In 2023 we will be breaking ground at our new farm site, which includes a historic barn in which to host these types of happenings.
In this fast-paced, increasingly complex world, we want our farm to be a place of healing & regeneration: for ourselves, for others, & for the land. We want it to be a place that cradles what truly sustains us: good food, community, beauty. We hope that it will be a place where people can expand their vision of what a farm is and is for.
The Feral Field is grounded in the values of:
❖ Sustainability—in every facet
❖ (Re)Connection—to the Earth, to the wild world
❖ Community, including animals & plants
❖ Sovereignty—in food & seed
❖ Respect—for difference, for wildness
❖ Hope—for a brighter, healthier, more peaceful future
❖ Beauty & Joy!
We know it is possible to grow delicious food & beautiful flowers while respecting & providing critical habitat for pollinators & the many other incredible creatures we share this planet with.
Black swallowtail caterpillar nibbling a bronze fennel at our urban farm in Lansing.
THE FERAL FIELD
BRIGHTON, MI 48114
© 2023 Danielle Brugnone - All Rights Reserved.