Our Story

The last horse died, the hay field needed replanting or a new use, we retired, and the tractor needed a purpose. So did we. Out of these events was born Harrison Market Gardens. We wanted to get good at growing food using organic methods, in as sustainable a way as possible. Our rich black soil needs little enhancement but maintaining and increasing its fertility has become an on going focus.

Our operation has been mainly a subscription, interactive, hands’-on U-pick. The first year we grew for five weekly pickers, our 12thyear, we grew for over 100 families. We feel like we’re growing food for friends, as the same families visit weekly or biweekly. Some have been with us all fifteen years and feel like our summer family. Our son, Ben, joined us and then Julie as well to help with the 9 acres of fruits and vegetables. The extra pairs of hands, strong backs, and sound mechanical knowledge, has been invaluable in helping us continue and expand our vision. We are happy knowing that as we age, Ben and Julie will be there to continue our “retirement project”.

In fact, their passion resulted in purchase of a second farm with a new tier of soils. Ben and Julie, with the help of Knox, now 6, have a second huge planting of asparagus, grow the sprawling winter squash, cucumbers, summer squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes and root crops. The sandy soil is a blessing. We can pull carrots and roots, not dig them. There is plenty of space to grow on plastic (strawberries and sweet potatoes) and still till or seed between the beds.

Our farms have never used chemicals. We have protected our farm with windbreaks and fence rows. We are becoming more adept at choosing appropriate cover crops and seldom have bare land. A neighboring dairy farm supplies us with compost and spent calf bedding. A landscaping company provides grass, and leaves in the fall. These become components of our compost. We are adding more perennials each year. We now have nearly a mile or 5600 row feet of asparagus. Last fall we became USDA certified organic. Our methods did not need to change, just documented. The Wisconsin based NICS has provided the certifying agents.  

The CSA has become wildly popular as busy families often have less time for picking and cleaning their own veggies and grows steadily with each season. Our local restaurants are now huge supporters as they have become part of the farm-to-table movement. So CSA and enjoying local restaurants are two ways you can enjoy our produce. We also have some produce at Choices Market on Perryville.

Scroll to Top