Huston Farms is a family owned and operated produce farm. Bill and Kris Huston own the roughly 200 acre farm which focuses in providing only the freshest, highest quality produce available. Even our logo: ‘Fresh from your neighbor” focuses on our commitment. We only sell what we grow and select the best quality seeds and varieties on the market. All crops are started from seed on the farm which helps us reduce disease and pest pressure and also aids in ensuring high quality transplants for many of our vegetables and fruit. Our three daughters have left the farm but remain and important part of the operation. The oldest Beth, is living in Findlay, Ohio with, her husband Doug and daughter Madison. Meghan just graduated (’11) from Denison University and works with Abercrombie and Fitch in Worthington, Ohio. Meghan also designed the farm’s logo. McKenzie is attending Cornell University and is studying chemical engineering and is also working on the future on-farm processing facility design and processes for that facility which will open for the 2013 cropping season.
The employees on the farm are part of the family operation having been a part of the operation for as many as 15 years. Jaime Garcia is the Production Manager and has been involved in fruit and vegetable production for most of his life which is also true of his father Tomas and brother Omar who also have been with the farm for several years. Omar is also the Construction Manager for the farming operation which has taken up most of his time this year as he constructs our new state of the art storage and packing house facility.
Approximately, 70% of our produce is sold as wholesale produce to various Giant Eagle stores in the Columbus area as well as several institutions (i.e. Denison University, Granville Schools, etc.). The farm also sells to wholesale distributors in Columbus (i.e. Sanfilipo, Mid-West Produce, Owl Creek Auction, and Chesterhill Produce Auction). The remaining production is sold retail at Zanesville Farmers Market, Dresden Farmers Market, and Zanesville’s Downtown Farmers Market. Several additional farmers markets will be added in the Central Ohio region this summer.
Huston Farms is committed to conservation. The farm has installed filter strips adjoining all streams on the farm to reduce sedimentation and prevent any possible runoff from reaching these waterways. Our commitment also includes reducing chemical usage by participating in OSU Extension’s, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program which has reduced chemical usage by 50% over the last two years. A few years ago the farm added drip irrigation to the crops planted on plastic mulch, this method uses 8 times less water than other forms of irrigation.
Bill grew up on a fruit and vegetable farm outside of Clyde, Ohio and has been raising fruit and vegetables on his farm since 1988 in Muskingum County. He also works for USDA’s Farm Service Agency as the County Executive Director. He also served as an Agricultural Advisor in Diyala Province, Iraq as a member of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) as part of a joint effort with USDA and the State Department.
Kris and Bill married in 2002 when they purchased the current farm. Kris is a Clinical Pharmacist for Genesis Hospitals in Zanesville. She has become the authority on bell peppers and her harvesting standards have increased the farms’ pepper quality and yields tremendously.
The farm house was built in mid-1800, and was vacant for several years prior to our purchase. Kris has restored almost every aspect of the house with skills she acquired in her youth, working alongside her mother who renovated numerous homes in Zanesville. She is committed to restoration of this unique home which boasts spectacular Chestnut, oak, cherry, and walnut woodwork. Even though, Bill’s education in this area has been slow, there has been some progress.
We share our home now with two spoiled dogs, Sam (had to have a Sam Huston around) who is 10 years old and a popular sideshow at the Zanesville Farmers Market where he performs about 20 tricks for the customers and cheese treats. Butters is about two years old and consummate farm dog and typical bad little brother to Sam.