Know Your Farmer: Markley Farms
There’s a big difference between shopping at the grocery store versus going to your local farmers market. At the weekly market you’ll get to meet your farmer face to face and are able to create a direct dialogue about how they grow their food and how to prepare the veggies for a delicious meal.
One of our jobs is to visit our farming community who represent at the Heirloom Farmers Markets. In the months we will be documenting the farmers and producers’ stories all the while interjecting our personal thoughts and reflections. Join us on our mission to Know Your Farmer with a video and blog series as we dig deeper into the lives of those who feed us.
After working at the office during the week and managing the weekend farmers markets, our team was excited to hit the road and get out of the office for a day. For me, this is a trip to exhale. City life is nice and there are many perks, but I do miss the countryside and its wide open spaces. The trip began with a drive to Markley Farms in Sunsites, AZ. The sprawling hills and pastures were dotted with cattle, windmills and tractors carving the earth for the spring and summer crops. For me, this is home.
The directions were more of a road map of life out in the rural country, “Turn right on Powerline Road till you see 2 silos. Our greenhouse is just past the red roof house on the left.” It’s still early morning, 8:30am or so, and Jeremy and Che are waiting for us grinning with open arms. “We are so happy to have you come here, we don’t get much company!” Inside the greenhouse, Jeremy’s enthusiasm is contagious. He begins with the description of how he and his father had the greenhouse transported to Arizona from Florida and how they both built it together. Down each row, you see tall tomato plants with beautiful ruby red, purple and yellow tomatoes peeking out.
Jeremy and Che Markley have a very dedicated customer base and deservedly so, the process of planting, perfecting the water pH, and the greenhouse pollination process takes dedication and care. Oh the life of a farmer! Jeremy doesn’t see himself doing anything else but growing food; tomatoes, strawberries, and “maybe lettuce someday,” Jeremy adds. But for now, perfect tomatoes must suffice as he and Che have a newborn baby girl. I imagine she’ll be right beside her momma and daddy picking the fruit from the vines and playing in the dirt!