Photo by Michael Murphy IV

Guilds provide peer-to-peer learning, mentorship, demonstrations, swapping, bartering, sharing work and celebrating community. Guild members share the strength of many through advocacy, problem solving, collective bargaining, and shared marketing.

Crosshatch's guilds grew out of a national program called Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT). For information about becoming a guild member, please contact us at guilds@crosshatch.org.

Love the guilds and want to show your support? We now have an Adopt a Guild program. Check it out on our donate page and get in touch if you're interested in learning more!

Farmer After Hours. Photo by Corey Hendricks. 

Farmer After Hours. Photo by Corey Hendricks. 

Small Farm Guilds

The Small Farm Guilds are organized by farmers for farmers, though anyone who desires to farm is welcome. Crosshatch supports Small Farm Guilds in three regions of Northern Michigan. The Little Traverse Bay group is based in Emmet and Charlevoix Counties, East Bay members hail from Antrim and Kalkaska Counties, and the West Bay group comes from Leelanau, Benzie and Grand Traverse Counties.  

Main guild activities:

  • farm tours
  • informal workshops
  • member potlucks
  • meet and greets over drinks

FRUIT & NUT Guild

From backyard fruit and nut growers to established orchardists, the climate of Northern Michigan is ideal for fruit production. The only requirement for membership is a desire to grow fruit trees.

Main guild activities:

  • grafting and pruning workshops
  • seminars on disease prevention and tree care
  • fruit tastings
  • scion swaps
  • member potlucks

Green Building Guild

For those interested in learning alternative building techniques. With a focus on the climate and resources of Northern Michigan, Green Building Guild members share knowledge of materials and techniques for the home or on the farm. All are welcome, from inexperienced volunteers to experienced builders. The only requirements for membership is a desire to learn alternative building techniques.

Main activities are hands-on:

  • work bees
  • demonstrations
  • information-sharing potlucks

Grain Guild

Inspired by the Small Scale Grain workshop with farmer Craig Schaaf and bakers Gerard Grabowski and Jan Shireman in the summer of 2014, the Grain Guild provides a platform for sharing the emerging interest in the many aspects of local grain production.

Desires of the group:

  • seed saving and sharing
  • documenting what varieties work in our Northern Michigan climate
  • testing how the grains are best used for pastry, breads, spirits, and/or oils
  • sharing experience with tools and equipment in small scale production

Beekeepers Guild

An informal group of people interested in beekeeping, which includes everyone from hobbyists to commercial beekeepers. Members learn from each other and through workshops.

Activities include:

  • hive visits
  • one-on-one mentorship
  • bulk orders
  • on-farm instructional classes

Fiber Guilds

For people interested in animal fibers, natural dye plants, knitting, weaving, spinning and more, from hobbyists to commercial textile entrepreneurs. Members learn from each other and through organized functions. Crosshatch supports two Fiber Guilds in Northern Michigan. The Little Traverse Bay Fiber Guild draws fiber artists and farmers from Emmet, Charlevoix and Antrim Counties, and the West Bay Fiber Guild has members from Leelanau, Benzie and Grand Traverse Counties. The only requirement for membership is an interest in fiber and textile arts and farming.

Activities:

  • sheep shearings
  • potlucks
  • material swaps
  • meet and greet over drinks

HERB GUILD

Herbalists and herb-enthusiasts get together monthly to discuss growing and utilizing herbs—medicinal, edible, and other. The only requirement for membership is a desire to learn about herbs.

MAIN GUILD ACTIVITIES:

  • herb focused workshops
  • herb-related craft making
  • seminars on medicinal herbs
  • herb tastings
  • member potlucks

Mushroom Growers Guild

The focus of the Mushroom Growers Guild is growing mushrooms at home or on the farm. It is an informal group interested in learning more about mushroom production. You need not grow mushrooms to join the guild.

Activities:

  • mushroom yard tours
  • informal workshops
  • farmer-led, day-long intensives
  • log inoculation work bees
Shiitake logs. Photo by Yvonne Stephens.

Shiitake logs. Photo by Yvonne Stephens.