Locally Grown: Raven Oaks Farm

There are people in this world who have endless amounts of energy and talent—who always seem to be doing, building, and creating.  My brother, Ryan Morici, is one such person. After building a highly successful landscape company with several tangential companies, a real-estate empire, and a family, he has once again captured lightening in a bottle with his latest project.

Raven Oaks Farm, a certified organic farm is his latest brainchild and passion project. As with the other companies, his Midas touch has struck again. There is an environmental ethos carefully thought through, which underpins the historical reverence yet has a modernity to the direction taken. Much like the shoppes and spaces at fleurdetroit, Raven Oaks Farm is an environmental gem, uncommon in today’s realm of big box stores and Amazon. 

The farm is situated on a quaint parcel of organically certified land in Washington Twp. The centerpiece of the farm is an immense white barn. This land leviathan was Ryan’s driving force when creating the farm. With his sense of preservation and the realization that these structures are being torn down, he was determined to save and restore this piece of Michigan history. It may have started with the barn, but it certainly did not stop there.

The Freshest Eggs

With a flock of 75 hardworking and playful chickens, the farm produces the most beautiful and tasty eggs which can be purchased during their market days, Friday – Saturday, May through December. The farm also produces the most delicious tomato varieties, lettuces and specialty peppers and radishes.

Beautiful Vegetables

In my naiveté, I learned there are so many radishes beyond the old red standbys grown by my grandparents. These reds are of course still a favorite of mine, but now my eyes have been opened to the sheer variety. The farm grows pinks and whites and gorgeous French breakfast radishes. The French radishes are sweet and delicious with a smear of butter. They also produce a Japanese variety that is so crunchy and best with a “sprink” of salt. Who wouldn’t want to grab several bunches for that perfect charcuterie board for that June cocktail party in the garden, or as in my case, a quick snack straight out of the ice box!?

I of course adore the chicken girls but, they do have competition from the extraordinary meadow that helps feed the beehives for honey production.

Loving Local

I am a writer of beauty and ingenuity, certainly not the best food writer… but sometimes the best words are simple: This produce is GOOD. Now discovered by the explosively successful Detroit food scene, restauranters are buying up his earthly delights. The pepper varieties alone are staggering, the lettuces beyond tender, all of which may already have been on your plate at your favorite restaurant. There is something about eating locally fresh produce. The turgidity of the produce is not lost after countless miles in a truck travelling across the country.  It is also, perhaps, just as satisfying and maybe more important to support these local businesses that have become so rarified in today’s patterns of consumerism. 

As this month’s journal is the celebration of Father’s Day, I must add that our extraordinarily talented and fearless father has been working hand in hand to develop this enterprise. From his expert talents in restoring the barn and structures, to playing Don Corleone in the gardens, our dad has been instrumental in the evolution of the property.

Visit Raven Oaks Farm’s website and learn far more than what I can type! Raven Oaks is just one of a few wonderous places that have been popping up in the city and surrounding areas. 

Another farm to visit, but this time in the city limits is Fisheye Farms. Much like Ryan at Raven Oaks Farm, Andy at Fisheye Farms is doing amazing things! Visit his website to learn about his journey in urban farming. The team at fleurdetroit has truly enjoyed the process that Andy undertook to build his successful farm and brand and at the equally remarkable journey of preservation and deep dive into growing specialties in the heartland at Raven Oaks. I highly encourage all to seek them both out at markets or on social media channels.

Explore in June!