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Allen and Bonnie Cook Baasch, owners and operators of the A&B Produce Farm, are enjoying the fruits of their labor as they watch the crops they planted earlier this year grow and flourish in their fall garden.
Brussel sprouts, squash, kale, cabbage and cauliflower, all grown at the Baasch's farm, are nearly ready to be picked, eaten and sold to area vendors and shoppers.
This Jefferson County farm, located off Freeman Road, backs up to a spring-fed creek bed, allowing for some fresh soil to plant and farm in.
Although Allen considers himself a "weekend farmer,” he works the fields 12 months a year to keep his winter, spring and fall crops growing.
Allen begins preparing for his seasonal crops long before the plants start to show growth. He opens his seasonal planting by airing the soil, adding lime or whatever fertilizers and minerals are needed for each particular vegetable he plans to grow. He also rotates the crops each year for a better product and hopes for good weather... not too hot... not too cold... not too wet! According to Baasch, 80 degrees is the perfect temperature for growing fruits and vegetables.
The farm crops are hand-planted with a stainless steel tool purchased online, and the Baasch's five acres are worked and tilled using a 1953 Jubilee tractor.
The A&B Produce Farm continues to show promise for many years to come, and the Baaschs 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."
The farm has a staging area for starting seedlings and working with the crops. As their farm produce grows and pays for itself, they are looking to add a cooler storage area, as well as a packing house in time.
The Baaschs have come a long way since the farm's beginning in 2008. Laying a foundation for the water system, tilling the soil, building the greenhouses and 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.
The alliance carries a variety of locally grown produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, garden plants, mushrooms and more, all in one convenient place. Everything for sale is produced within 100 miles of Tallahassee. It's Tallahassee's Online Farmer's Market. The product is shopped for on Sundays and picked up on Thursdays, every week.
They also sell to area residents, stores and businesses. For more information and directions about A&B Produce Farm call (850) 519-0092 or go to firstname.lastname@example.org.