New Adventures: David Aupperlee
Black Fox Farm


Tax season can be intimidating for any young, beginning, small farmer, but for Michigan farmer David Aupperlee, taxes were a completely new experience. David and his family relocated to the United States from England in 2020, which presented numerous challenges, including getting familiar with the new tax processes and regulations.  


In January of 2020, the family moved to Belding, MI from England to pursue their dreams of owning land and operating a sustainable farm. They purchased 75 acres and started their dream of Black Fox Farm, which is now home to 12 acres of apples, an acre of blueberries, and 62 acres of land that they hope to use for livestock and other crops in the future.  



David Aupperlee and family

David Aupperlee and his family 


After working with GreenStone for their loan, the Aupperlee family discovered the CultivateGrowth grant.  Hoping to expand and better understand owning a business in the United States, David used the grant to employ a GreenStone accountant to complete their tax and accounting process.  


“It’s our first time ever having a business in the United States, so a lot of this is extremely new to us,” explained David. They worked with Tax and Accounting Manager Scott Martin. “Scott was super helpful walking us through everything, spelling everything out, and didn’t make me feel dumb for any of my newbie questions.” 


The biggest learning experience for David was understanding the tax exemptions for businesses like his. “Scott probably saved us thousands of dollars just through his knowledge. A lot of the things he mentioned or helped us with, I would have never thought of,” explained David.  


For farmers, every penny counts! The money David was able to save allowed him to pursue educational opportunities that will create more income for his farm in the future. He participated in an online elderberry course where he learned the research and farming techniques behind raising elderberries. With a background in botany, David understands the importance of ecological restoration and hopes to use native plants, such as elderberries, on his own farm.  


“While I love farming apples, there is a lot of necessary interventions because apples are not native to our area. We put in a lot of work to fend off pests and disease, so I began to look into commercial crops that are indigenous to Michigan, and I came across Elderberries, which are also becoming more popular. Because they are adapted to Michigan, they require less input and are financially easier as well,” David said enthusiastically.  


David’s mission for regenerative farming begins with the soil. “The soil is the birthplace of any goodness that will eventually turn into a crop. I’m trying to be mindful of how any activity or input on the farm affects the soil. I’m looking into any positive I can do for apples and complimentary things that can be implemented between livestock and the orchard,” David elaborated.  


David Aupperlee

David pictured in his orchard 


Allowing help from other farmers and pursuing grant programs like the CultivateGrowth grant is the biggest advice David can offer for other farmers. “I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to learn from the people and farmers around you. I’ve received so much help from fellow apple growers and I’m grateful for all the help the farming community has offered me.” 


To learn more about Black Fox Farms visit them on Instagram at blackfoxfarmsblueberries.  


Here at GreenStone, we provide the educational and financial resources needed to help all small, beginning, and young farmers establish a solid foundation. For more information on the CultivateGrowth grant visit Grow Forward Grant | GreenStone FCS. 




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