Audio: Central Missouri vegetable grower is “Organic Farmer of the Year”

Liz Graznak Organic Farmer of the year

A central Missouri vegetable grower is the MOSES Organic Farmer of the Year. Liz Graznak and her partner founded Happy Hollow Farms in Moniteau County, Missouri almost a decade ago.

“It’s pretty amazing. I can’t really wrap my mind around it because in the time that I’ve been growing and the farmers that I know who have received this award, they’re like the stalwarts in the organic farming community.”

She says working as general manager of a Columbia, Missouri garden center gave her the business training she needed to be successful, but, she tells Brownfield Ag News, “I vastly underestimated the amount of money that would be required to build infrastructure and buy equipment and get a farm up and going.”

Graznak says cover crops are a very big part of their eight-acre operation, “We use cover crops the same way conventional farmers use fertilizer. We are using those cover crops for the nutrient source to put back into the soil to feed the vegetable crops that we’re going to be growing.”

Graznak’s farm is over 80 acres total and the foundation of her business, she says, is their CSA – Community Supported Agriculture – program which grew to 85 subscribers last year. She says the loss of restaurant business from the pandemic didn’t affect her operation – which actually grew because of the demand for locally grown foods.

Graznak and her wife Katie are raising their two daughters at Happy Hollow Farms, which employs 11 people.

Graznak will receive her award at the virtual MOSES conference at the end of February.

 

Photo courtesy Brownfield