Anne and Brian Bates dream of a sustainable future, where the arts, education, and organically grown food enrich their community. Bear Creek Organic Farm is Petoskey, Michigan's first-ever 100% USDA Certified Organic Farm.
To become the trusted producer of certified organic produce and raw honey in Northern Michigan, by delivering the purest products possible from our farm to our customers' table, while educating our community on the benefits of local, organic, and pollinator-friendly agriculture, and enhancing our region's local economy, environmental sustainability, and access to nutritious food.
We are not content with the status quo. We push the envelope in every way on our farm, from sustainability to resiliency, we are dead set on shifting the paradigm through our actions as producers, beekeepers, responsible stewards of the land, and business owners.
- Bear Creek Organic Farm is Petoskey's first USDA certified organic farm.
- We "own" 15 Solar Panels at the Spartan Solar Array in Cadillac, MI operated by our electric utility - producing 5 kW of solar electricity for our farm.
- We installed and operate a 30-panel Solar Array on our farm that produces 10 kW of renewable electricity for our farm.
- We use passive solar hoophouses to produce local leafy greens and salad greens 52 weeks/year, even when it's -20 outside. No need for California lettuce in January!
- We're serious about local. Our close proximity to downtown Petoskey means that the majority of markets we serve are within 12 miles of our farm. That's not just local, that's hyper local.
- Our tractor burns ultra low sulfur diesel fuel and meets the EPA's most stringent emission standards.
- We are the only farm in northern Michigan using fully recyclable "wax" boxes to pack and ship our produce.
- Our herb clamshells are made of 100% recycled plastic and are 100% recyclable - Made in USA.
- Our salad & microgreen clamshells are also made of recycled plastic and are 100% recyclable - Made in USA.
- Our transplant containers and propagation flats are made locally, of recycled plastic, and are fully recyclable. Made in East Jordan, MI, USA.
- Our "plastic" produce bags at farmers markets are 100% plant-based, and 100% biodegradable in normal compost piles.
- Our paper shopping bags are 100% recycled paper and 100% recyclable.
- We produce the only local, treatment-free, raw honey available in retail stores in Petoskey.
- Our beehives are never treated with any fungicides, insecticides, or pesticides, ever.
- We do not ship our bees - ever. Our bees live in Petoskey, Michigan for 365 days a year.
- All of the wood used to construct our beehives is constructed locally by fellow beekeepers and carpenters. Made in northern Michigan.
- With over 5 acres in cultivation, we plant 50% of our fields to cover crops and honeybee pollen & nectar sources each season.
- We believe strongly in a vibrant local economy, and as such, we bank, insure, shop, source, and employ locally.