Jim Baughman, owner and farmer at Freedom Valley Farm, started as a vendor in the BRFM Winter Market in 2016 and the Summer Market in 2017. He came highly recommended by his vendor peers who knew him from the Bloomington Market and has definitely lived up to his reputation!
This year, Freedom Valley Farm was one of 6 farms featured at the Purdue Small Farm Conference 2021. The conference was virtual this year as was the tour – which means that all get to partake! To take your own virtual tour and learn about the Farm and Jim’s growing practices, click here. The video is about 13 minutes long.
A few highlights from the video:
- Jim started the farm in Freedom IN 10 years ago as a second career. He grows year-round on 2 acres with 1 hoop house, 4 high tunnels and one mushroom barn.
- He grows 35-40 crops but specializes in greens and mushrooms.
- Like most of our vendors, he uses “organic” growing practices but is not certified.
- The newest innovation on the farm is low till (no tractor involved) which creates permanent 30″ beds and 14″ walkways. Beds are hand tilled only 1.5″ deep. Low till has cut back on weeding dramatically and it gets better each year. This new process is allowing Jim to expand the farm and he is in the process of adding new perennial beds for asparagus, rhubarb and blackberries. And he plans to expand his mushroom production!
- Jim has received help from and has participated in many projects at Purdue – one is testing whether grafted cucumber plants yield earlier crops than traditional non-grafted ones!
- Jim shares his experience about learning that every farmers market is different in terms of which products and in what quantity its customers purchase produce!