Spotlight on Spreading Oaks Farm
Kenneth and Patti Cook have always had large gardens. In 2009, along with their son Jason, they began Spreading Oaks Farm with full-time vegetable and egg production on their 17-acre farmland. Utilizing six high tunnels for optimal planting, growing, and crop protection, they currently have four acres dedicated to vegetable production along with 150 cage-free laying hens. The farm offers Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs in addition to their market participation at the Marietta Square Farmers Market every Saturday. With nature at the core of what they grow and how they grow, the Cooks take pride in offering fresh, naturally grown foods. They truly love bringing the pure flavors of nature to the tables of Georgia families.
“We are striving to produce healthy alternatives for our local community. Our produce is harvested within 24 hours of the farmers market and travels less than 25 miles. The only way to have it fresher is if it comes out of your own back yard.”
NATURE’S HELPING HAND
Everything grown on the farm is Certified Naturally Grown (CNG), a peer- reviewed certification program with similar guidelines to an organic certification. Farm practices such as crop rotation, using natural predators for pest control, and watering from a deep well to avoid groundwater contaminants are some of the ways Spreading Oaks grows their crops. The use of high tunnels on the farm helps the Cooks begin growing crops earlier in the spring and allows them to continue growing later into winter. Everything is grown from a seed; they use two tunnels for growing seedlings and hardening plants before planting them into the ground. These large tunnels are not temperature controlled, but they do provide some protection from mild frosts by creating a slightly warmer environment inside the tunnel. Crops inside the tunnels are grown in the ground, and on warmer days the sides of the tunnels are rolled up so the inside temperature is the same as the outside temperature.