After working as an electrical engineer for many years, Randy Butts made a leap of faith that took him in a whole new direction. The “city kid” was yearning to farm, but found that traditional farming was difficult to get into. With his technical background, hydroponics intrigued him; and then he bid on a greenhouse on e-bay and won the bid. The next thing he knew, he was reassembling his new greenhouse on his property northwest of Indianapolis, and Eden Farms was off and running!
The hydroponic system allows Randy and his team (including wife, Andrea), to grow an amazing amount of greens and herbs in a relatively small space year-round; and to control the growing environment to limit insects, micro-organisms, disease, and weather issues. They are able to eliminate pesticides and use pure fertilizers. Hydroponically-grown food typically offers a higher amount of vitamins and minerals than does soil-grown produce.
Randy is hands-on at the greenhouse daily. The size, quality, color, flavor, and freshness of the plants he grows is very important to him. Buying the highest quality seeds and providing the best growing conditions is a must. “We keep the root ball on our plants to ensure longer lasting, fresher quality,” he says. “I am dedicated to seeing that everything is done with food safety, superior quality of product and consumer satisfaction as the elements of utmost importance behind this business.”
In addition to quality and purity, Eden Farms is dedicated to the principle of local food to support a local economy and reduce the impact on the environment. Hydroponics is good for the environment in several ways. It eliminates soil erosion, doesn’t use massive acreage (more people can be fed with less area), less fuels are burned, farms can be closer to markets reducing emissions from transporting product, and it uses less water than soil farming (it can be reused as well as controlled so there is less waste).
For more information about Eden Farms, visit their website here or their facebook page here. See their beautiful greens and herbs at the Market every Saturday morning. And while you are there, say hello to Lisa (former BRFM volunteer), Julia, and Taylor, who man the booth.