From Farm to Table: Henry Jochem

You can find Henry Jochem every Sunday at the Greenbelt Farmers Market located at 25 Crescent Road in Greenbelt selling fresh produce from his farm, Primaterra Farm. He is originally from Columbus, Ohio. He started out his career in farming through farming internships throughout his undergraduate years on several farms in Ohio. He later moved to the East Coast and gained more experience on different farms in Central Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland. Last spring, he began his very own farm, Primaterra Farm, located in Brandywine, Maryland. It is a first generation vegetable farm focused on sustainability and diversity. Crops are planted, cultivated, and harvested by hand. They are grown in soil fertilized by natural compost and without any chemicals to bring you fresh produce that feel good about eating.

Jochem began attending the Greenbelt Farmers Market as a vendor after a member of the market reached out to him via email. Since then, Jochem has been present every Sunday morning to provide the Greenbelt community with sustainable, fresh produce. Jochem also vendors at two other markets located in Alexandria, VA and Lothian, MD on Saturdays and Thursdays.

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Henry holding a crate of arugula to bring to the Greenbelt Farmers Market

A typical day for Jochem starts at 5:30 a.m., earlier on days he goes to the market. He will begin by milking the goats, which are the newest animals to join Primaterra Farm. He will then feed quails and chicken and collect their eggs. Although watering the crops is dependent on the weather, during the summer he will turn on the water for irrigation. The challenging part is deciding where to get the water from- he has two wells on the farm and also collects rainwater. After watering his crops, he will then pick crops, plant seeds, and till his land. With no other employees besides himself, he is constantly juggling the responsibilities of running his own farm.

Some summer seasonal crops at Primaterra Farm are: tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumber, potato, and sweet potato. In the fall: radishes, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, lettuce, and baby greens like arugula. The eggs that Jochem raises are from pasture-raised hens. Jochem rotates layers on new pasture regularly for happier and healthier birds that produce better eggs for you and your family. Studies have shown that eggs from pasture-raised hens are higher in omega-3 fatty acids, higher in Vitamins A & E, higher in beta carotene, and lower in cholesterol and less saturated fat. (http://www.primaterrafarm.com/gallery.html)

Stop by to say “hello” to Jochem and other vendors that provide you delicious, fresh produce straight from farm to table at the Greenbelt Farmers Market this Sunday, August 7, from 10 am to 2 pm. While there, enter the free drawing to win prizes at the Greenbelt Community Foundation’s booth where you will find information about the Foundation and its 10th anniversary celebration campaign, Explore Your Greenbelt. This seven month campaign is highlighting organizations GCF has funded and this week it is the Greenbelt Farmer’s Market. The campaign is sponsored by Greenbelt News Review, Paradyme Management and Beltway Plaza. For more information visit GCF’s website: greenbeltfoundation.net.