Freedom Farm is operated by Poly and Garry Fay. Poly’s family has farmed the coastal lands of southernmost Mexico for generations, growing corn, watermelons, melons, cucumbers, squash, banana, papaya, and mangoes. Most of what was grown was for their own consumption because there were few profitable markets for any crops nearby. Garry’s family farmed in the coolies of northeast Iowa, and over the years he has farmed and gardened throughout the Midwest as well as in south Pacific during a stint with the Peace Corps.
Poly and Garry want to farm in Minnesota for many reasons. They both enjoy the work and having an abundance of organic food for eating. Farming is a great family activity, getting everyone outside. They are also committed to keeping food local, reducing the distance food travels to get on the dinner table.
This is the first year Freedom Farm is working with Minnesota Food Association. They have already learned a lot about the production issues associated with farming. They have installed a drip irrigation system and are also gaining experience with trellising and the timing of trellising.
This year Freedom Farm has 1.5 acres, selling product through Big River Foods, and growing tomatoes, corn, watermelon, peppers, squash, and cantaloupe. Poly and Garry’s goal is to gain enough experience in the next three years so that they will be ready to purchase a piece of land and continue farming vegetables.