By Cindy Jo Ayers
Do you love fresh local garden vegetables? Adam and Ashley Cook of Cook Farms started on a new venture last Spring when they planted peas and sweet corn to sell to the public on their farm in the Flatwoods. After their Spring garden success they leased land on Sugar Hill which faces State Road 26, between Trenton and Newberry. The Cooks will be growing a wide variety of garden fresh vegetables to sell to local citizens.
While talking about their new venture of vegetable growing, Adam, 32, said on Monday, “It’s a gamble, but all farming is a gamble.” Adam has always wanted to be a farmer and has been farming since he was 16. His grandfather was the late Addy Jones, who for many years grew vegetables in the Shady Grove area, which is in the Southeast part of Gilchrist County.
Ashley said her family had often stopped at Osage Produce near Dillard, Georgia. She remembered the pretty fields of cabbage and other produce growing just behind the large farm stand which featured seasonal vegetables. Adam said he has always had an interest in growing vegetables, so after much discussion he and Ashley decided to plant the Fall/Winter garden on 15 acres on Sugar Hill. The idea was that people passing by on SR 26 could see the crops grow and then buy from their farm stand when it opens in the near future.
They have planted Cherry, Grape and slicer tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, two types of white acre peas, sweet potatoes, greens, and both Japanese and traditional eggplants. They also have butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash along with yellow and zucchini squash, as well as a wide variety of peppers including bells, snack, poblano and jalapenos planted. Later in the season, they will be planting broccoli and cabbage as well as other winter vegetables. They hope to have some type of produce growing nearly year round.
Ashley said, “The shelled acre peas and okra should be ready by the end of the week.” The Cooks plan to grow fresh vegetables and sell them just feet from where they are grown at their farm stand. You can check availability by contacting Ashley at 352-339-0197, their farm can also be found on Facebook at cookfarms337.
The Cooks, like all young farm families, are very diversified. They also grow, process and bag deer corn which is sold locally at Green’s Outdoor store in Trenton, as well as Green’s stores in Perry and Lake City. They also plant several other crops as well, such watermelons in the spring. Needless to say this local farm family is very busy.
In his spare time, Adam Cook serves the local agriculture community as their District 9 Representative on the Board of Directors for the Florida Farm Bureau Federation.
Adam and Ashley Cook to bring Fall vegetables to local tables
By Cindy Jo Ayers