Thursday, October 9, 2008

Homegrown Freshness From the Veggie Patch

Whether you sell at the Columbia Farmers’ Market or are a shopper you know the name – The Veggie Patch – and think of the brightly colored tablecloth that can be seen each Saturday at the market.

(Photo: Jana Thies-Porter hands a Jarrahdale pumpkin to Sean Nicholson-Crotty last Saturday at the Columbia Famers Market. Photo from the Tribune.)

The Thies Family of Glasgow started their family produce operation long ago when two FFA students (Deanna and Jana, daughters of Jim and Paula Thies) needed an FFA project and decided they wanted to grow specialty crops, instead of having a traditional FFA project like showing cattle or hogs and raising soybeans and corn.

The Tribune was lucky enough to spend some time with the family and share in the goodness of homegrown freshness straight from the Thies family farm.

Jim, who is a FFA teacher in Glasgow, recently won Grand Champion in the 08 Missouri State Fair Horticulture Contest and the Veggie Patch provided the first ever Missouri State Fair Farmers’ Market with local produce from their family this year.

When it comes to bettering the community Jana, the youngest daughter said it best in the Tribune article: “From the beginning, my parents said, ‘This is your business,’ but it really was a family project. We learned a lot. This is about food, family and building community,” said Jana.

Below is the article from the Tribune about the Thies Family.

An FFA family builds a business and keeps roots in agriculture.

There’s a little produce stand out in front of Jim and Paula Thies’ house in Glasgow. A scarecrow watches over stacks of odd-shaped squash and pumpkins. Folks pay by the honor system, picking their produce and putting their money in a little box in the scarecrow’s grip.

Last week, after a long day teaching at the local high school, Jim Thies stood in his driveway looking over the end of the season’s bounty. The Glasgow farmer and agriculture teacher had just picked the last of the pumpkins over the past week. The family grew more than 22 varieties this year.

Read the entire article.

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