Jennifer Eddy is a third-generation farmer living in Jewett. Her grandfather ran a dairy farm, and her parents ran a unique greenhouse in East Rochester. Eddy went to college for agricultural business and applied economics with an art minor; she said she preferred hands-on art experiences like glass blowing and working with clay. She’s a hard worker who’s not afraid to get her hands dirty, and now, she and her husband, Keith, raise their three children on an ever-expanding farm. They grow everything from tomatoes to kale, cauliflower to beets, and corn to cabbage. Whenever a suggestion is made about what someone might want to buy from them, Eddy is willing to try growing it. She said that growing up, she hated almost everything about growing a garden. “If you’d have told me 10 years ago that this is where we’d be, I would have told you you were crazy.” Now she can’t imagine doing anything else. “It’s one of those things that once it gets in your blood, it’s always there.”
The Eddies believe in hard work and integrity. They want to instill strong values in their children and do that by including the whole family in the farm’s day-to-day operations. “A hard day’s work is a good thing,” Jennifer stated. She doesn’t want her children to shy away from honest labor. “Where we go, they go.” Anywhere on the farm that needs work, the whole family will be there.
Keith has a job as the IT director for the Harrison Hills City School District and still works on the farm daily with the rest of the family. Milking cows in the morning, weeding garden beds, and feeding chickens are just a few things they do each day to keep everything working. When their oldest daughter, Abbigail, was asked what it’s like to live on the farm, she simply responded, “Fun and hard.” She said her favorite things to do are “play with the pigs and chickens” and “milking a brown Swiss cow.” The Eddies also help out their neighbors whenever possible and are involved in their church, ready to help supply food for dinners and their community.
Homesteading and having a garden have recently seen a spike in popularity as supply chain issues and inflation lead many Americans to plant their own crops or raise their own animals. Jennifer Eddy’s advice to anyone starting this journey is simple: “Take it one day at a time.” She explained that even now — a decade later — she’s still learning. She takes the time to read up on the latest studies and does her research to find the best methods for what she wants to do. A big focus for her is always natural remedies for common farm ailments. Whenever pests rear their ugly heads, Jennifer and Keith are quick to hunt down control methods that don’t involve harsh chemical pesticides and repellents.
“This is homegrown. You know where it’s coming from. You know how it’s being handled and how it’s taken care of,” she mentioned. Avoiding pesticides (as much as possible) and connecting with the community are important to the Eddies. They sell their produce and meat a stone’s throw from their property in the Valie Lanes parking lot in Jewett. “People appreciate that because they know where it’s coming from and that they’re supporting local farms.” They will be open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. until they run out of things to sell. Jennifer tries to update their Facebook page (@EddyfarmsOH) with what they’re bringing each week, so everyone has a heads up. She’s always open to larger orders as well. As long as she has a little advance warning for what you need, she’ll get it for you.