About


Currently, look for Brines Farm:
Saturday mornings at the regular Ann Arbor Farmers Market.

Look for us again at the Cobblestone Farm Market in Buhr Park beginning late next spring!  Thanks to all our regular customers there!

All of our fruits in veggies are authentically grown inside our hoophouses (passive solar greenhouses) or outside across 80 acres of preserved farmland in historic northern Webster Township (on the postal boundary of Dexter and Whitmore Lake, Michigan - the land is in the Dexter school district, so we say Dexter, no offense to Whitmore Lake.  This weather station is about 1 mile due north of our 80 acres.). We are not third-party certified organic but follow all certified organic allowed guidelines, if not even more ecologically friendly practices whenever possible. Brines Farm utilizes first and foremost healthy compost soil.  From there we employ beneficial insects, seed saving when possible, open pollinated or heirloom seeds when possible, exclusively non-GMO seeds, and lots of hand labor from dedicated and respected individuals. From time to time we have public open houses or volunteer days at the farm which we can let you know about if you fill out this form. A little more information about Brines Farm is available below in a short bio.

Support Local (Sustainable) Agriculture! First and foremost, we're in this because we like great food. As a business we're not worried about being big, only great. For example, we think you will not currently find fresher and better tasting arugula in the Ann Arbor area and that alone is the reason you should buy ours. The fact that we for example use no fossil fuels to heat, cool, or ventilate our hoophouse and that we are part of the local economy is just icing on the cake (dressing on the salad?). If you need more reasons, try these 10 Reasons to Buy Local Food (or these alternate ten reasons) with which we wholeheartedly agree.  Also, read this brief Valuing Michigan's Local Food System.

A Short Biography of Shannon Brines & Brines Farm:

Shannon Brines began authentically growing vegetables and fruits as a child growing up in Dexter and established Brines Farm on that family land in 2004 due to his passion for slow food and sustainable, year-round agriculture.  He began selling year-round at farmers markets shortly thereafter and offered the area's first fresh produce Winter CSA share program a few years later.  Shannon was selected as a member of the US delegation to participate in Terra Madre 2008 in Turin, Italy: a world slow food meeting focused on increasing small-scale, traditional, and sustainable food production.  Shannon is an Applied Geographer and Lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment interested in land use, agriculture, food systems, public health, and sustainable design.  He consults on a variety of research projects in academia, most notably: multiple projects with the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health which include neighborhood analyses of food access; and, a new USDA-funded project led by the university which will analyze Food Access In Michigan and includes multiple community NGO partners and educational institutions across the state as collaborators.  Shannon is active in our local food community organizations: currently serving on the Slow Food Huron Valley board (vice-chair), HomeGrown Festival steering committee, Local Food Summit steering committee (co-chair), Greenbelt Advisory Commission (vice-chair), and on the student initiated University of Michigan Sustainable Food Program (UMSFP) Advisory Board.  Shannon has also served in the past on the Ann Arbor Public Market Advisory Commission and the Tilian Farm Development Center steering committee.  In 2012 Brines Farm expanded its operation in northern Webster Township by purchasing a neighboring historical 80 acre farm.  Brines Farm offers a variety of internship opportunities as well as periodic open houses and volunteer days for the public.  Additional folks lending their labor of love to the Brines Farm vision currently include Erin Mittendorf (Shannon's spouse as of a 2013 wedding on the farm!), Bill & Marlene Brines (Shannon's parents), Peter Brauer, Gabe Kaul, Shannon's siblings, and many of Shannon & Erin's friends including (but not limited to) Jason Frenzel, Drew DeOrio, Pete Wycoff, Peter Stephens, and Tina Roselle.  To all our treasured help, volunteers, and patrons, spanning the past, present, and future, we thank you for your support!  We would not be here without you!

Shannon Brines on the Tilian Farm Development Center and Washtenaw Food Hub:

"Having a farm incubator and a ag business incubator and hub in our area has been a dream of  mine for more than 10 years, so my primary concern at Tilian is helping establish a strong vision and plan for the center's future, in addition to serving as a mentor for beginning farmers."

"The simple truth is that we need more farmers.  If the greater Washtenaw county area wants to be a healthy and sustainable community then we all need to support efforts like Tilian Farm Development Center.  Currently everyone from local food businesses, chefs, institutions, to everyday eaters are demanding more supply of fresh, nutritious local food.  There is lots of potential for more farmers and more niche markets.  Vibrant and robust local food systems have plenty of room for diversity and redundancy.  Together with a collaborative community effort we can increase the numbers of farmers and comradery of farmers in our community... and we will have a great time doing it.  This has been and continues to be my goal which is why I am extremely happy to be a member of the Tilian steering committee, an accessible mentor farmer to all, and a part of this community."

Interested in harvesting your own produce in the winter in cold climates?  We compiled this page of informational resources a little while ago but still has useful information.

Press:





  • Autumn 2012 Legacy Land Conservancy Annual Report Brines Farm expands to protected farmland
  • November 14, 2012 Concentrate Year-round CSA Brines Farm expands in Dexter
  • October 2, 2012 AnnArbor.com Farms near Ann Arbor evolving to offer fall and winter CSA shares
  • May/June 2011 Art Showcase Magazine Local Organic Farmers Make Good
  • April 8, 2010 Detroit Free Press Hoophouse ventures prove crops can thrive year-around in Michigan
  • December 7, 2009 AnnArbor.com Brines Farm brings us fresh greens in the winter
  • August 5, 2009 AnnArbor.com Ann Arbor Farmers Market turns 90
  • Winter 2009 edible WOW Winter's Harvest
  • January 31, 2009 Ann Arbor Chronicle Local Food For Thought
  • December 8, 2008 University Record Lab manager, farmer keeps it organic (as PDF)
  • January 2008 The Ann Arbor Observer Meet the Locavores
  • November 2007 Compostable Times, page 5, Know Your Farmer
  • October 13, 2007 The Farmer's Marketer Know Your Farmer at Brines Farm: Haps in the Hoophouse
  • March 14, 2007 Green Options blog, DIY: Cold Frame
  • February 26, 2007 Teeter Talk interview
  • February 14, 2007 Green Options blog, "Getting Local Food"
  • November 20, 2006 Ann Arbor News story (as PDF)
  • November 10, 2006 Detroit Free Press story (as PDF)
  • Brines Farm video submitted to Convenient Truths: a green video contest and moves on to second round.
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