Bottomland Vegetable Farming: Foster Farm
In 1999 Christine and Larry moved to live on Foster Farm where Larry grew up in Fraziers Bottom. Their house, across a field from his parents, is where the cabbage patch used to be and they tease that they are raising three real life cabbage patch kids. With 200+/- acres of pasture and upland forest, they use almost all their bottom-land for planting vegetables. They have a small flock of about 40 free-range chickens, 1 pet goat and their older kids are raising two hogs for their 4-H projects.
Currently Foster Farms sells produce at the Putnam Farmers Market, where Christine currently serves as President. Now, in mid May they have lettuce, green onions, eggs and lemonade for sale. Later in the season they will have corn, several kinds of green beans, tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, okra and more. Their carrots are not doing well…Christine thinks the chickens got into the raised bed and ate most of the seeds.
There has been a recent price adjustment of eggs at the Putnam Market. Christine says that $3 a dozen barely covers the costs to produce the eggs and does not add any value to the time they take to care for the chickens as well as gather the eggs, but she wonders if the $3.50 price now in place at the market will attract buyers. Market value is the agreed upon price between a willing seller and a knowledgeable buyer. While free-range local eggs are a bit more expensive than the eggs found at the local grocery store, there is a vast difference in the quality. Whether a buyer recognizes the value of chemical free eggs or wants to support the local farmer, there are buyers at $3.50 and even higher.