From making jams to growing onions, farmer Bill Huhman and his wife, Linda, can grow, make and bake it all. The Huhmans have been invested in the agriculture community their entire lives.
Linda learned how to bake and cook from her grandmother at the early age of 10, and Bill grew up on a poultry farm in central Missouri. Bill continued to help run a turkey farm, which produced about 250,000 birds per year, while he simultaneously worked on obtaining his animal science degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia. He also raised dairy and beef cattle and swine growing up.
“The garden was a main source of our food,” said Bill. “My earliest memories involve helping Dad get the cows for milking and pulling weeds in the garden.”
Bill and Linda have lived along the Ohio Fresh Foods Corridor in Williamsport for 23 years. It’s an ideal location for their business.
“Pickaway County is a good fit for my business because it’s rural enough to support farming and farmers while being close enough to the city and suburbs of Columbus,” said Bill. “We have good soil and weather, support from OSU Extension and other growers when we need help.”
Bill spends his days growing a diverse selection of fruits and vegetables. When asked what a typical day is like, Bill laughed and said, “Typical days are never typical!”
His weekly routine begins at the break of dawn. Accompanied by two of his faithful dogs, Blue and Freckles, Bill prepares for farmers markets by working in the garden beds – seeding, weeding, transplanting and irrigating. He harvests and cleans the vegetables, bakes and packages bread, helps Linda make jams and jellies, and loads the trucks for markets.
Linda starts her days at 4 a.m., making sour bread dough, which is an extensive process. She also bakes brownies, pies, cinnamon rolls, takes special orders by phone or social media, works on labels, and makes jellies and jams with Bill.
The Huhmans sell their products primarily at two farm markets – Pearl Market in Columbus on Tuesdays and Fridays; and Caesar Creek Market near Wilmington on Saturdays and Sundays. Some of the produce they sell include tomatoes, egg plants, pepper plants, raspberries, garlic and six different types of onions. Even though their weekly schedule is busy and exhausting, the Huhmans find time to enjoy ice cream and pie together in the evenings.
The Huhmans are passionate about providing local agriculture and food sources not only to customers in Pickaway County, but to residents of central and southern Ohio. They believe in giving community members an opportunity to get to know the farmers feeding their families.
“We’ve got a lot of education to do to let folks know where their food comes from and the effort that’s put into it to ensure that it is safe and nutritious for consumers,” said Bill.
They advocate and promote their neighbors and other farmers in Pickaway County to their customers as well.
“We meet and talk to several hundred people every week about the benefits of local foods and the challenges we as a group experience in providing these foods to them,” he said.
“I see the Ohio Fresh Foods Corridor as a means to promote Pickaway County and the surrounding area to the general population as a fun, people-friendly source of locally-grown, fresh food that is worth visiting frequently. There’s a wonderful sense of community here, and frankly, it’s hard to imagine a better fit for a small business such as ours than Pickaway County.”