Bacon’s Select Produce is a family-run, hydroponic farm located in North Jacksonville. Father and son, Fred Sr. and Freddie Bacon, started the farm as a hobby in 2008, raising lettuces and a variety of other specialty greens for local farmers’ markets and local restaurants.
Fred Sr. grew up on a farm in England, but that experience was very different from the farming methods the family uses today. From growing year-round to using only organic and beneficial pest control, every aspect has been a learning experience.
“I can’t say that we had a real business plan when we started. Market customers and restaurants kept telling us our product was good and we stayed busy trying to grow more and grow it better,” says Freddie. In 2011, Freddie and his wife Heather decided to quit their finance and accounting day jobs and join Fred and his wife Sharon in farming full-time.
The two couples, Fred Sr. & Sharon and Freddie & Heather, all work full-time in the greenhouses. Fred Sr. and Sharon can be found at the Riverside Arts Market in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturdays, while Freddie and Heather supply the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market on North Seventh Street, Amelia Island.
Rolling in the Greens
On a recent sunny winter day in North Jacksonville, Heather Bacon stands inside her family’s hydroponic greenhouse next to a waist-high row of 480 bright green, butterhead lettuces. All of the heads, perched atop a long PVC pipe, look like over-sized roses in full bloom, with intricate veins running through the delicately hardy folds of foliage.
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