Columbia Farmers Market

the farmers behind the market

Next Market Date: 
October 2
 
8:00 AM
-
12:00 PM

Happy Hollow Farm: Finding Happiness on an Organic Farm

For 10 years, Liz Graznak of Happy Hollow Farm has farmed in the Jamestown area, on loamy soil along Splice Creek, just north of the Missouri River. Happy Hollow Farm is a USDA Certified Organic farm.

They offer produce, eggs, flowers & annual fruits through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) membership, 50 weeks a year at the Columbia Farmers Market, through partnerships with a number of locally owned restaurants as well as seasonally at Natural Grocers. About one third of Liz’s CSA customers pick up their weekly CSA shares at the Columbia Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, where you will also find produce for sale to market customers.

Liz joined the Columbia Farmers Market in 2013. Previously, she sold her vegetables at the Orr Street Farmers and Artisans Market on Sundays. She moved to the Columbia Farmers Market because “I was bringing home too much produce.” The larger market—with as many as 3,000 customers in the summer months—immediately enhanced her produce sales.

6 1/2 years ago Sylvia Louise, joined Liz & Katie on the farm and 2 & 1/2 months ago, they welcomed Ellowyn June to their farm family. Raising a family on a central Missouri farm has been an amazing experience for Liz & Katie and they are excited to see what the next 10 years bring their way!

Graznak, lives on the farm with her wife, Katie, and their two daughters, Sylvia and Ellowyn. Liz’s organic farming methods include planting a variety of cover crops, using no-till beds and using numerous high tunnels and caterpillar tunnels on a total of 7+ acres. In early spring, she starts all of her own seedlings in a passive solar greenhouse. Liz grows over 100 varieties of fruits, vegetables & flowers including: arugula, basil, beets, bok choi, broccoli, broccoli raab, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cantaloupe, cauliflower, celeriac, cilantro, cucumbers, dill, eggplant, endive, escarole, fennel, garlic, fresh ginger, green beans, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mustard greens, onions, parsley, peppers, radishes, spicy greens, summer & winter squash, spinach, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, and watermelon.

Liz also raises a number of heritage breed chickens for egg production. Eggs are available to CSA customers year round and during the spring months when production is at its peak, eggs are also available at the farmers market. She also sells a wide assortment of cut flowers at the market, and flower bouquets are also seasonally available to CSA members.

Graznak, who holds a masters degree in Plant Breeding from Cornell University, was drawn to farm life after she joined a CSA while in graduate school. “I fell in love with the farm,” she said. She learned the ropes, working as an intern on a number of farms, including Dan Kuebler’s The Salad Garden, in Ashland. “I had a great internship experience and I learned so much about farming from other farmers.”

After working at Superior Garden Center for 6 years, Graznak saved enough money to get a loan to purchase her 82 acre farm. 7 of those acres are cultivated for vegetable production. In the last 9 years she has built a barn, a greenhouse, numerous hight tunnels & added on to the small house that was originally on the farm all with lumber harvested and milled on the land. The 4 high tunnels are where a majority of the winter production takes place.

This diversified farm is focused on a “whole farm approach” when it comes to sustainable vegetable production. In 2018, Liz applied for and received a USDA REAP grant, which covered about 1/3 of the cost to install 79 solar panels on the roof of the barn/pack shed, enough to cover 100% of the farm’s yearly energy use. Liz is committed to not only providing delicious healthy food to her community but she also cares deeply about taking care of the plot of land that she tends, trying to always give back more than she takes.

Liz has continued to grow her farm business each year with the help of numerous employees and interns. “I’m committed to offering good internship opportunities,” she said. Graznak provides vegetables off the farm, basic cooking items, housing and a monthly living stipend for her interns. Interns learn about soil health, cover cropping, scheduling, planting, harvesting, post harvest handling, greenhouse management, basic construction skills, marketing, managing employees and farming equipment. “They are with me night and day for seven months. My goal is to teach as much as possible about what it will take to run your own farm some day” she said. Interns also join her on Saturdays at the Columbia Farmers Market.

Graznak looks forward to Saturday markets. “We have a fantastic market in Columbia!

I don’t get to leave the farm much, so the farmers market is where I get my social interaction. I see loyal customers every Saturday. I enjoy the challenge of setting up a beautiful display, the challenge of helping 10 people standing in line when it is busy, and getting to know the people that we feed.”

For more about Happy Hollow Farm, the CSA, and some of Liz’s favorite recipes go to happyhollowfarm-mo.com

“I enjoy the challenge of setting up a beautiful display, the challenge of helping 10 people standing in line when it is busy, and getting to know the people that we feed."
-Liz Graznak

Chard Gratin

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ARUGULA, FENNEL, AND CITRUS SALAD

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