A vendor with Countryside Farmers' Markets since 2007.
Farmland: We grow on 5 acres of land which is separated on the farm to protect against disease pressure, which is mostly airborne. We have one 200-foot high tunnel, two smaller cold frames, and 20 raised beds in which we are constantly rotating crops during the season. Our high tunnel and cold frames allow us to extend our seasons before most gardeners can show production and we can go longer into the season, protecting the crops from frost.
People: Bob and Donna Baker. Our farm is family owned and operated. Bob would be considered a part-time farmer, since he works a full-time job outside of the farm. However, he puts in full-time hours at the farm, essentially carrying two full-time jobs April through November. Donna farms full-time, starting in late February, planting everything by seed and harvesting through December for winter markets. At any one time, one of our five kids actively participates in the fieldwork, sell at the markets and often attend to the CSA.
Farm History: We have been gardening for over 15 years. Then, in 2006, we expanded to grow for local farmer's markets. In 2007, we started our CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. This is where members buy shares into our garden and then come to our farm for a weekly pick-up of produce from June through September.
Products: We produce naturally grown vegetables, maintain beehives for pollination and benefit from the honey the bees produce. We also have had great success with growing ginger and turmeric, ordering our certified organic seed stock from Hawaii.
Soil: We have three acres of loamy soil and two acres of rocky soul, which has good drainage. We use green manure such as winter rye and buckwheat to help enhance our soil naturally and practice crop rotation.
Water Use: Drip irrigation is how we provide water to our plants when mother nature chooses not to supply it. For natural fertilizer, we often put seaweed or fish emulsion through our drip line to our plants.
Weed Control: We use plastic mulch not only to cut down on the weeds, but it helps to retain moisture for the plants, as well. We hand-weed around the plants that are in holes in the plastic and mow between our rows.
Pest Control: We have found that by rotating our crops and using succession crops that this has tremendously cut down on the pests that we encounter.
Fun Facts: Baker's Fresh Produce & Honey started out as a roadside stand with one picnic table to sell "extra" produce from our large garden. It has escalated to a full truckload of produce on a weekly basis, along with providing 55 families with a weekly supply of produce. This is a true "family farm" with everyone from grandparents to kids helping out so the operation runs smoothly.