Meet Paul Geer

MEET PAUL GEER. Geer raises market vegetables and flowers in Kent County at Frozen Creek Floral Farms. Paul walks with a cane and has had surgery to fuse several vertebrae in his back. But in 2012, a car accident broke the fusions in his back, resulting in constant pain today. Paul contacted Ned Stoller, Michigan AgrAbility, for solutions on how he could continue farming. As hoop house work is more accessible than field work, Stoller encouraged Geer and his partner Ruth Smiley, to continue shifting their focus from market vegetables to hoop house tomatoes and flowers. Stoller also recommended wider steps and a platform for the IH 300 and a platform lift for the IH 706 which could also be used as a man lift for ladder tasks around the farm.

To stay in business, making accommodations and diversifying are strategies used by many farmers. In spite of Paul’s disabling back pain, he and Ruth, not only raise market vegetables and flowers, but also freeze dry them, create floral arrangements, herbal dips and seasonings, and do wedding gown alterations. Frozen Creek Floral Farms owns the only 4 floral freeze dryers in the state and has been used as a venue by several wedding photographers. Each freeze dryer holds 6,000-8,000 blooms at a time. The blooms are brought to -30 degrees and freeze dried, and then dipped in a UV inhibitor solvent to reduce fading from the sun.

Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2015