Clare County Review & Marion Press

Faces in the Crowd: Brice and Nikki Mosher

From their little piece of heaven, just northwest of Falmouth, Brice and Nikki [Taylor] Mosher run Infinity Microfarm.
At Infinity Microfarm, locals can purchase a share of the Mosher’s farm for the season. With each share, families get weekly produce, including lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage, beats, broccoli, and just about anything else you can grow.
Inifinity Microfarm is referred to as a Community Supported Agriculture [CSA] farm. The farm has grown from serving 3 to 4 families in 2016, to 94 shareholders in 2021.
And it continues to grow.
Brice and Nikki, both ’93 McBain graduates, were high school sweethearts in the beginning. However, after high school, they went their separate ways: Brice to the Air Force; Nikki to college.
But they found each other once again in 2009, and were married in 2010.
We caught up with the Mosher’s recently and learned a little bit more about their story. We learned that Brice and Nikki are more than just a couple of faces in the crowd.
Marion Press: Where were you born and raised? What kept you busy growing up?
Brice: I was born in Cadillac, and raised in Falmouth. I was only here until after high school, and then I went into the service; into the Air Force for four years, [working] law enforcement.
Nikki: I was born in Marion, and went to school in McBain. My dad always had a garden. He was a big gardener, he had all kinds of awesome things. We spent a lot of time out there in the summer, picking beans.
MP: How did you two meet?
Brice: We were high school sweethearts. She sat behind me in class.
Nikki: We actually met the summer between 5th and 6th grade at the Lake City beach. We were both in the same class at McBain, graduated in ’93.
MP: So when did you get married?
Brice: Well, we kind of had a hiccup in our relationship. She went off to college, and I went off to the service…
Nikki: In 2009 we started talking again, and we got married in July of 2010.
MP: And at some point, you decided to start Infinity Microfarm. How did that come about?
Brice: We were renting places: We lived right across the school in McBain for a while, and then we moved to Lake City for a while. We finally found this place [just northwest of Falmouth]. The property used to belong to my grandfather when he was still alive. When he passed away, my dad bought a section of the property, and they sold off the acreage that we’re on. We ended up finding it on foreclosure sale and we bought it.
I think the second year that we were here we put in a small garden – the whole thing was covered in pine trees – and I, slowly with a chainsaw, and rental equipment, would pull stumps for us to put in a small garden.
By 2014, we were maybe gardening an eighth of an acre. And it was more than we could use, so we started hitting some small farm markets and things like that.
In 2016, we decided to expand and go more towards the public rather than just for ourselves.
MP: So 2016 is when the farm really got going.
Brice: The way we do our farming, most of our produce is sold through a CSA [Community Supported Agriculture]. We recruit families to basically join the farm for the season. They pay for their vegetables up front, and every week throughout the summer we distribute their portion of the vegetables to the family.
MP: What keeps you busy on the farm?
Brice: In about a week I’ll be starting my onions. The season starts for us before the snow’s gone. We’ve got to get all of our transplants ready. And prior to that, I’ve got to put together a growing plan for the season: how much we can offer, and how many shares we can handle for the season. And we’re basically grow to order.
When we started out in 2016, we had 3 or 4 members, so we were only serving 3 or 4 families at the time. And last year, we did 94 shares.
MP: Wow, that’s a lot of families.
Brice: We got to be part of a pilot program last year: we were approached by the Michigan Fitness Foundation. They’re a non-profit out of Lansing, and their goal is to reach low-income families to make these CSA shares available to those folks. The way the program works is a little bit different than what our typical CSA is. With our private shares, the people who join pay for their season up-front. That covers our seed cost, and fertilizer, irrigation expenses and all that stuff. But with this Michigan Fitness Foundation program, there was no pre-purchase. Whenever we distributed a share to a family, we’d swipe their bridge card for a portion of the cost, and then the Michigan Fitness Foundation would cover the remaining 75%.
MP: What types of produce do you grow at the farm?
Brice: I’d like to say pretty much everything that you can grow in a garden, we can grow. Every year something happens to where one product or another might not make it: either pest pressure or environmental, or it just didn’t work out. We grow everything: Lettuce, potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage, beats, broccoli… We’ve got two 30’ x 72’ greenhouses that we grow peppers and tomatoes in. We usually have our tomatoes ready about a month before most home gardeners have theirs ready. They get a lot of heat early, and better protection from the environment. Plus, we can control the moisture.
MP: If someone wants to purchase a share in your farm, how would they go about doing that?
Brice: Probably the best way is to go to our Facebook page and send us a message. We do most of our recruitment through Facebook. Last year we eclipsed 6 tons of produce off of our roughly 2 acres of production.
MP: And it sounds like you just keep growing.
Brice: Yeah, right now I’ve got pretty much all that we can clear, I’ve got it cleared this past fall. Some of that is just going to go into cover crop, and just kind of sit fallow for a little while, while we build the soil up. We’ll probably run our production on about the same amount of acreage this year, but we are looking to add another high-count greenhouse this year.
MP: It seems like there’s a consumer trend towards whole foods and living a healthy lifestyle.
Brice: I try to do as much as I can to help to promote that. There’s other growers in the area that I’m working to help get started. There’s a definite need, and the consumers out there want this stuff. We’ve got a couple stores in the area that have been asking for produce for us, but we just can’t produce because we’re doing so many shares.
MP: What do you enjoy the most about living in the Falmouth area?
Brice: For me, it’s the community. I know all of my neighbors, mostly because I grew up here. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know that if my car breaks down on any road, there’s somebody I know personally who’s going to be within earshot. Plus, the neighborly thing: People help us out all the time; we help people out all the time. The way the community works is the most appealing part of being here.
Nikki: I concur. I have the same exact feelings. It’s a safe community. I know I can let my daughter go out and not have to worry.
MP: Speaking of your daughter, tell us about your family.
Brice: We’ve got four girls. Two of them were hers from a previous marriage, and I have one from a previous marriage, and then we had Sophie together: Michaela, Shelby, Kara, and Sophie. And we have two grandbabies from Michaela as well.
The oldest of the grandbabies, she helps with the potato picking – she likes to do that. Sophie is actually one of our farmhands. The rest of the girls, since they’ve been out of the house they’re no longer a part of it. They ran! Sophie will help plant, help harvest, help pack. Even got her running the tractor a little bit now. She’s definitely a big piece of what we do.
MP: What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Nikki: Don’t stop learning. We learn something – at least one thing – every season. And we usually learn a lot more than one.
Brice: The other farmers that are doing what we do, are always our biggest supporters. And I’ve found that from day one: The competition has always been our biggest supporter. One thing that kind of sticks: Starting small. If someone wants to get into this, you’ve really got to tiptoe into it, or it will swallow you. But I encourage everybody to grow stuff. If you’re capable, and you’ve got a small plot that you can go out and plant – even if it’s just a little box garden in the back – I encourage everybody to do that, even our shareholders.

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