Cherry Rock Farms to expand market, include more vendors

April 27, 2018

Cherry Rock Farms plans to double the size of its retail shop this year and bring in more goods from other local producers.

The fourth-generation vegetable farm south of Brandon on Highway 11 is operated by Marco and Laura Patzer. They’ve been using only half of their store, so no construction is needed to expand, Laura Patzer said.

“We’d like to make it more of a daily farmers market, a one-stop shop for customers,” she said.

They’ve been selling Splitrock Honey Co. products and Fruit of the Coop eggs, both of which are Brandon-area businesses, and Sola granola, which is out of Texas. New products include Caselli’s Market Garden microgreens, and the Goosemobile’s grass-fed, free-range poultry, beef, pork and lamb.

“We’ve got a great storefront here and want to help people that don’t have one,” Patzer said.

Ian Caselli, who operates Caselli’s Market Garden with his wife, Amy, said it’s great to see local farmers working together. Most of their produce is sold wholesale to restaurants and grocery stores.

“We’re trying to find ways that we can partner with our ag neighbors and get people to eat more local products and food.”

The store at Cherry Rock Farms typically opens in early July when there’s enough produce to sell. It’s open every day except Monday.

With three greenhouses, the growing season started in March with the planting of 10,000 onion seeds.

“We have been working in the greenhouses but up until this week we were unable to get on the fields,” Patzer said. “Things appear to be back on track as long as this weather sticks around.”

The farm grows a variety of vegetables on 30 of its 186 acres, and the hope is to continue to grow the business to bring more of that land back into production.

Cherry Rock also plans to buy one or two additional greenhouses and offer vegetables in the winter months, she said.

“We will plant those this summer to carry through into the winter months.”

This fall, the farm will expand the corn maze that it started last year along with a pick-your-own pumpkin patch. The inaugural maze was on 3 ½ acres, and the plan is for about 5 acres this year.

The activities drew schoolchildren on field trips and provided a great opportunity to teach them about farming, Patzer said.

“We’d definitely like to grow that side of our business too because it’s fun.”

Editor’s note: The Patzers’ last name was incorrect when this article was first published. 

Cherry Rock Farms to expand market, include more vendors

Cherry Rock Farms plans to double the size of its retail shop this year and bring in more goods from other local producers.

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