A&B Produce Farm: Laying a foundation for the future

Debbie Snapp
ECB Publishing, Inc.

The A&B Produce Farm was just one of several farms to visit during the 11th annual two-day Farm Tour scattered across the Florida Panhandle, sponsored this year by Majken Peterzen, executive director of Millstone Plantation.
Sunday afternoon was a perfect time to visit with Allen and Bonnie Cook Baasch owners and operators of the A&B Produce Farm. The weather was warm with sun and a mild breeze. Everything turned beautiful green after Hurricane Michael left his mark on the Jefferson County farm, off Freeman Road. The farm also backs up to a spring fed creek bed.
Most of the winter crops planted earlier this fall were lost due to the hurricane and the dry summer didn't help either, but the Baasch's are hopeful for a fine crop by year's end. The re-planted crops include cauliflower, cabbage and brussel sprouts. “We should have a good crop for sale if we can keep the deer and bears out of the fields,” says Allen.
The farm crops are hand-planted with a stainless steel tool purchased online and the five-acres are worked and tilled using a 1953 Jubilee tractor.
The A&B Produce Farm shows a lot of promise in the years to come. And, the Baasch's are very hard workers who care about seeing things grow. They like knowing that what they are doing has a purpose. They enjoy watching vegetables grow from just a seed – a seed they planted.
“The vegetables we grow and sell have nutritional value for every part of our body,” says Allen. “The brain, lungs, heart, kidneys, liver and stomach all benefit from us eating vegetables.”
Right now, they have a staging area for starting seedlings and working with the crop. As their farm produce grows and pays for itself, they are looking to add a cooler for storage and a packing house in time.
They've come along way since the farm's beginning in 2008. Laying a foundation for the water system, tilling the soil, building the greenhouses, marking the rows is a lot of work for two people especially when those same two people are full-time workers away from the farm. But, they are ambitious and excited to talk to people about their farm and its future. They will surely make it as full-time farmers someday soon.
A&B Produce Farm sells its produce to Red Hills Small Farm Alliance out of Tallahassee. It buys all locally grown produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, garden plants, mushrooms and more in one convenient place. Everything for sale is produced within 100 miles of Tallahassee. It's Tallahassee's Online Farmer's Market. Product is shopped for on Sundays and picked up on Thursdays, every week.
For more information and directions about and to the A&B Produce Farm call (850) 519-0092 or email baaschdee@aol.com.