Q&A with Elaine Baughman
1) Why did you get involved with your agriculturally-based career?
“I actually got into my gardening business by accident. My kids sold extra green beans one summer, and it seemed like an easy way to supplement the family income. About the same time, my husband retired from his construction business. We built our garden business from there.”
2) What are the greatest challenges with your career?
“Weather is a huge challenge. We do not have access to irrigation in our gardens, so dry years are rough. The physical work involved is another challenge.”
3) What were your greatest rewards?
“Both my husband and I love selling at market. This makes the long days totally worthwhile.”
4) What do you have to do for an on-going education?
“We take training through the Iowa Department of Agriculture to be sure we know the current regulations and their application to our operation. Iowa State University has offered training about food safety and home-based businesses. New legislation can require new training.”
5) What do you wish people know about your career?
“I wish people realized my gardening is definitely a business. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work. Even though the markets run only five months of the year, work goes on throughout the other months.”
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