By Cameron Dunlap
The Mason Times
With the hot summer days behind us, Swallowtail Farm of Mason isn’t going to let the upcoming cold weather put a damper on its business. After becoming certified through the Michigan Department of Agriculture to begin production of preserves for distribution last year, Swallowtail decided to add a large hoop house to extend its growing seasons.
Swallowtail, known for its U-pick raspberries plans on having a selection of salad greens including lettuce, spinach, pepper, Asian greens, baby kale, cucumbers, beets, pumpkins, butternut squash and even eggs for the winter. All vegetables are free of synthetic chemicals
Pumpkins come in various sizes for all carving, decorating and eating needs, with prices ranging between $2 and $5. Butternut squash is 50 cents a pound. All greens are $3 a bag with bags weighing between one-third of a pound and one-half of a pound.
Anne Rauschuer, co-owner of the farm, grows products all year around to keep the farm in business, however this is something she has not always imagined herself doing.
Going into college, Rauschuer majored in botany to indulge her love for plants. After working education, program management and being involved with managing community gardens, she eventually developed a passion for farming. In 2005, she became co-owner of the farm and has been full-time as of the last year and a half.
New Mason resident Angie Moore had been looking for new good local farm after leaving her old one behind and loved what she found in Swallowtail
“After finding Swallowtail though pickyourown.org, we visited and picked our own raspberries for the first time. We also bought tomatoes and cucumbers. I loved that it is truly a family farm… My sons and I had the company of their two sons and a few handheld chickens while we picked,” said Moore.
Rauschuer rents out a commercial kitchen once a week to make jams from her berries. Her products are placed all over Michigan including Charlotte, Detroit, St. Johns and several others. She will even deliver to customers if at least five are in close proximity.
The Black Currant Syrup made by Rauschuer was recently named a finalist in the Spirits category for the 2015 Good Food Awards.