Decades before starting her very own produce farm with her husband Emanuel, Kentucky native Susannah Slabaugh began observing her father operate a hydroponic greenhouse where he grew tomatoes and cucumbers. At the tender age of 9, she was helping to make sure all of dad’s crops had the right balance of water and nutrients, and grew to appreciate each step of the soil-free farming process.
By the time Susannah and Emanuel had chosen to relocate from western Kentucky to the Hoosier state in 2010, her dad decided to retire from his hydroponic tomato and cucumber business, which by then had become a full-time job and had grown to include three greenhouses. She knew the time was right to begin carrying on the family farming tradition, and the couple began dismantling each greenhouse piece by piece and hauling them to southern Indiana.
“A lot of my childhood memories involve working together in the greenhouse as a family,” Susannah recalls. “It was a good life. It seemed like the natural thing for us to do to carry on the family business.”
Now in their sixth growing season, the Slabaughs continue to perfect their hydroponic farming methods, using about one-twentieth of the water traditional produce growers use. This year the couple added a lettuce-growing facility to their operation, which, like their tomatoes and cucumbers, is grown without the use of pesticides or chemical inputs.
“A person can go to the supermarket and find whatever produce they want, shipped in from all over the world - but the problem is you never know how many chemicals you are consuming,” Susannah says. “Our nutrient solution is made up of minerals mined from the earth and dissolved in water. Taking care of our bodies, and growing our produce free of chemicals and pesticides, is important to us.”We’re proud to offer Susannah and Emanuel’s produce right here on Market Wagon. Order online and get it delivered.