Welcome to our farm! Our family is made up of our two sons, a daughter-in-law, and grandson. My husband David and I, with help from our oldest son Matthew, farm 1,000 acres of mostly corn and soybeans. My husband is a 3rd generation farmer. We live on what at one time was his grandparent’s farm. My husband has lived within one mile of the home farm all his life.
I grew up in a small town and was thrilled to move to the farm after we were married 38 years ago. We farm along the Illinois River, so we have had our share of flooded fields. Even though there have been some rough times, I wouldn't change anything.
Almost anything. About ten years ago I decided we needed to add more to our farm. To have contact with the people who consumed our products. Since corn and soybeans are sold in large amounts and shipped to large markets I knew that was not an option. So I decided to start an on-farm market.
We had an old barn that was built in 1921 (with timber from the farm it sits on) that was not really being used. I started with pumpkins. That fall I decorated the barn and sold all the pumpkins I had raised. I made my seed money back and some profit. The next year I set up the picnic table in front of the barn and sold all the extra sweet corn that we had. My in-laws planted enough each year to feed the entire neighborhood and there was always some left. I again sold pumpkins, and included mums, gourds and winter squash. I slowly started adding other vegetables for the next couple of years. There was a small building next to the barn that I was able to talk my husband into helping me clean years of dirt out of, so I could have a small shop in it. At this point I should tell you my husband thought I was kind of crazy for ever starting this! But as the stand grew, he also started to help man the stand and talk with the customers; he didn't think it was quite so crazy.
Fast forward ten years, welcome to our farm! We are farming 1,000 acres of corn and soybeans, 9 acres of sweet corn, 2 acres of pumpkins and another 3 acres of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green beans and other assorted vegetables. We sell at three farmers markets in the Peoria, Illinois area, one of which I'm the manager of. We also have an on-farm market and bakery.
But most farmers are not as lucky as I've been, since I've been able to talk to people about our food and how it’s grown. American farmers want our food to be the safest in the world. Because what you eat is also what we eat.
Jenkins Country Comforts and Farm Market