About Your Farmers
Nathan Cornell and Carissa Savage are the husband and wife team behind Lost Lake Farm. The path that led to us to our farm in Michigan has crossed the continent, and encompassed a variety of careers.
Nathan was raised in Kalkaska, attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York, and spent a decade traveling the country and cooking at a wide variety of restaurants. His experience includes working for Robert Redford at the Sundance resort in Utah, making authentic Mexican food alongside Oaxacan women in Oregon, and cooking wild-caught salmon and halibut at a wilderness lodge in Alaska (the very same lodge where he met Carissa!). Nathan's cooking style is ingredient driven, meaning he is inspired by what is fresh and available at a particular place or season. As he became increasingly interested in the quality of the ingredients he was cooking with, and where those ingredients came from, he decided to switch gears to farming. He then spent two years apprenticing at organic vegetable farms in Oregon. While he is no longer cooking professionally, Nathan still loves to prepare meals for family and friends, using our farm's fresh vegetables and delicious meats.
Carissa grew up in Tucson, Arizona and has also lived in many parts of the country. After studying Sociology and Spanish in college, she's had a varied career in teaching, gardening, and community organizing. Carissa has always enjoyed working with plants, and has experimented in gardening in a wide range of climates, from her 4-H watermelon garden in Arkansas to growing potatoes under Alaska's midnight sun, and lettuce in Arizona's mild winters. She really got serious about growing food while working at a nonprofit in Portland, Oregon called Village Gardens. There she facilitated community gardens in public housing neighborhoods, working with gardeners of diverse ages, ethnicities, languages, and physical abilities. She led children’s garden clubs and cooking classes, and helped start a community-run laying hen cooperative to provide organic eggs for the neighborhood. She gained valuable experience managing the seeding and plant start programs for the gardens. No matter her actual job, Carissa has always wanted to make a positive impact on her community through her work.
Our mutual interest in healthy food and communities, environmental issues, and a love of working outdoors led us to start our own farm. We moved back to Michigan to be close to family, and in the hopes of growing fresh healthy food for this community.
When we're not busy posing for ridiculous photos, we enjoy hiking, biking and skiing our way through this beautiful Northern Michigan countryside.