Fresh takes on a new meaning at Fresh Cut Farms in Deer Park. Owners Jim and Connie Long grow myriad vegetables, greens, berries, and orchard fruits on 2 acres. They sell at three area farmers markets, including the Clayton Farmers Market.
“If we’re selling it, we grew it,” Jim stated. The furthest their produce travels from the time it’s harvested at the farm is approximately 10 miles.
The Longs utilize organic growing practices at their farm, but have not had it officially certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Connie added that the cost of certification and the amount of time it takes to gain that status is a deterrent.
“At every market we get asked about how the product is grown,” she said.
The Longs have two large hoop-type high tunnel greenhouses that protect tender vegetables from both wind and cold. This extends the growing season. Having the greenhouses also means they can start lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and other cool-temperature crops earlier in the year, and that heat-loving crops such as tomatoes and peppers ripen faster.
“Weather is the biggest fight we have,” Jim added.
The Longs begin their summer work day at 8am and often don’t finish until 9pm. Neither is a stranger to hard work. Jim grew up in the Colbert area on a small farm and is retired from the Air Force.
Connie was raised on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania. She joked that the hard work she puts in every day is still not as taxing as having a dairy farm.
Jim and Connie sell their produce at the Fairwood Farmers Market Tuesdays from 3-7pm, the Emerson/Garfield Farmers Market Fridays from 3-7pm, and the Clayton Farmers Market Sundays from 11am-4pm.
For larger purchases email them at: [email protected]