Although teaching and running my photography business keeps us fairly busy. What you might not know, is that we have a little farm as well. And not just any old farm...we raise hydroponic strawberries and tomatoes!
In case you are not familiar with hydroponics, this is a process where fruits or vegetables that would normally be grown in the ground, are grown in water. The roots of the plant are suspended into a pipe, where water continuously flows around all of the plants. This enables us to deliver the proper amount of nutrients to each plant when they need it. The use of the hydroponic system gives us better control over the quality of the fruit or vegetable a plant produces.
We start putting the plants in the hydroponic system in March, so that they are producing a yield by the beginning of June. Since they are in the greenhouse and we are able to control their environment much easier than being out in a field, therefore we often harvest well past the normal growing season.
2017 was the first year that we offered our produce to the public. We planted 600 strawberry plants and were yielding on average a quart a day, from June until the beginning of November. Our tomato plants were also producing a steady yield during that time. “The Damn Food Truck” often used our farm fresh produce for some of their delicious meals. Since 2017 was such a success, our family has decided double our production! March was definitely a busy month, but it is all worth it when we are eating fresh strawberry and tomato anything!!!
Our children love planting, caring for the producing and selling. They are learning so much about hard work, dedication, profit vs. loss, and how to meet and interact with customers. The best part is that we are guiding them through this entire process. At the age of nine, my youngest son had to deal with an angry customer and a customer that took more than what he paid for. Both were huge learning experiences for him, that we let him handle on his own and then discussed with him how he can handle things differently in similar situations in the future.
This is something that our family enjoys and is very proud of. We invite you to stop by and visit anytime you are in the neighborhood. Don’t forget to take some of the best strawberries and tomatoes you will ever have, with you!