One of our favorite places on the farm is the propagation greenhouse. It’s a small structure, no bigger than a one-car garage, but its role is crucial, for it is here that every plant on our farm first develops its roots. Every time we walk through door, we get to witness the miracle of life as tiny shoots spring from a small seed and poke their heads above the potting soil.
Nine months ago this greenhouse was packed with healthy green seedlings ready to be moved out into the warm spring weather and planted in the field. Every bench was completely full with flat after flat of tomato, pepper, eggplant, cabbage, broccoli and zucchini plants and so much more. Even floor-space was coveted. It seemed that for every flat we took out of the greenhouse and planted in the field, we quickly replaced it with something else.
But by mid to late summer, the greenhouse emptied out, occupied only by several flats of lettuce and a few other miscellaneous plants. The plants that had been here several months ago were now bearing juicy tomatoes, zucchini, and beautiful eggplant. The bounty was shared with friends, family and customers.
Now, with the grass frosted in the mornings and an occasional snowflake falling through the air, the greenhouse stands alone as an isolated piece of spring. Outside is cold and dreary, but open the door and you will be greeted with warm, moist air, the smell of damp earth, and plenty of green plants. In one corner are herbs, another bench houses flats of lettuce, and piles of empty containers from the summer are stacked neatly underneath. The greenhouse is not full, but it is enough to keep us dreaming of the real spring when everything comes alive—not just the seedlings in our greenhouse.
Freedom Foods is a family owned and operated farm located in Wolcott, Indiana, which is about 20 miles north of Lafayette, Indiana. We have 250+ years of generational farm experience and a passionate interest in gardening and growing delicious, high-quality produce.