I recently had the opportunity to visit the farm of Harold and Naomi Brenzikofer. The Brenzikofers have been selling produce at the Emporia Farmers Market since about 1987 and were some of the first vendors I got to know by name as a shopper when I first moved to Emporia.
Harold's experience with local food goes back to his boyhood when his parents grew and sold strawberries to area residents and he and Naomi tell stories of picking tomatoes to supply the stores in Emporia from sunup till sundown.
Today the Brenzikofers have a high tunnel and two greenhouses on their farm. They have been able to sell fresh produce at the market all winter long with a variety of Romaine lettuces, spinach, carrots, radishes, and other greens. They sell a wide variety of fresh produce through the summer months, as well as fresh farm eggs, jams and jellies.
A peek at the operations side of the Country Flower Shed:
|Harold Brenzikofer in his greenhouse, filled with garden starts for summer markets.|
|About half of the Brenzikofer high tunnel is filled with strawberries this year.|
|No water is wasted in Brenzikofer gardens. This hookup goes to drip hose placed along the rows of strawberries, beneath the ground cover. Brenzikofer's pup poses for the picture (I told her I was taking the photo of her.)|
|Blooms and baby strawberries!|
|In the second greenhouse, the twine will provide a climbing support for the cucumber vines and the dripline directly into each pot assures that water is not wasted.|
|Winter market shoppers will recognize these radishes peeking out of the soil.|
|Gorgeous flowers of Romaine lettuce, a staple at winter markets this year.|
|Buckets of spinach also grow in the second greenhouse.|