We went out and toured Rex Dobson’s farm yesterday. The Dobson Farm is located north of M-72 west in beautiful Leelanau County. The farm on Center Rd. stretches all the way to Lake Leelanau Dr. and across to Lake Leelanau. Along the way we passed wild grape, mint, ancient apple trees long forgotten, willow and barbed wire fences which were held taught now by the trees growing up around them. The trees swallowed the fence and ended up making a well-preserved artifact stronger than the day it was built.
At the lake, we made whistles out of reed grass and watched as rays of light danced over the smooth textures of the lake. It was quiet and peaceful and helped us imagine life on the farm before cars and motorized equipment, and before jet-skis cut paths into the shallow swells of the water.
On the way home, we ate apples off of trees gone wild and tried to identify these heirloom varieties by taste and texture. A few years back Rex established the Rex Dobson Ruby Ellen Farm Foundation as a way to preserve the value of the family farm. The land at Dobson Farm was offered in the form of a land grant in 1865 to Rex’s great-grandfather who fought in the Civil War. It has remained in the family for generations and now, thanks to Rex’s vision, it will survive as an example farm for generations to come.