My Name is Dan Delaney, and my goal for this blog is to share the unique and exciting things I have going on at the Sprout It farm! And hopefully, just maybe, l can encourage, inspire, or help others through my real life experiences. That means sharing my successes, failures, experiments, goals, and let’s not forget rants.
The farm to table concept has truly inspired my business model. It’s a simple idea, knowing not only where your food was grown, but also by who. Not many people can go to the market and say they know who produced their food. It’s through building these meaningful relationships that we grow as a community.
A little bit about me, I’m 100 percent Michigander and proud! I grew up in Marshall Michigan, then moved to East Lansing where I completed my degree in horticulture from Michigan State University. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the finest landscape design firms in Kalamazoo and Petoskey.
In 2016, I changed my career path, and just like Michigan's infamous weather, I wanted to do everything at once. I soon found my title being Dan, the red claw crayfish and blue tilapia raising, succulent growing, mushroom farming beekeeper. I was having trouble fitting all of that on a resume, so I decided to start a business, and deeply consider what I really wanted to do.
In 2017, I focused my business on the most realistic three things I enjoyed the most, mushroom farming, honey bees, and my plant nursery. However, my endless passion didn’t translate into immediate success. On paper, the mushroom farm was supposed to be my big winner, except it wasn’t. The plant nursery held up fine, but it involved buying plant stock and inventory which is tough on a new business, and my one hive of honey bees, I split it four times, and all four colonies perished over winter. This was a big learning curve with the mushrooms and honeybees.
Now, in 2018, I’m finally starting to get the hang of things. My mushroom business is the most consistent it has ever been, and I’m starting to work with some amazing restaurants in Kalamazoo and the Grand Rapids area. I’m up to 20 hives thanks to my free honeybee removal service I offer. Let’s hope they all make it through the winter (fingers crossed). The plant nursery has been gaining steam as well, and I’m starting to offer more variety.
I am ready to take my new found knowledge into the 2019 season. I have many great ideas for what needs to be done for my business Sprout It to grow not only as a business but as a community. I will be making a short video every Monday, writing a blog every Wednesday, and taking pictures and showing off the farm the rest of the week. You can find my blogs on my website, the videos will be on Facebook and YouTube, and the pictures will be found on Instagram and Facebook.