Amy Holstine, who owns the Produce Patch Farm Market with her husband, Marvin, holds a basket of locally grown asparagus while standing in front of several flowers that she grows herself in her family’s greenhouse.
Amy Holstine, who owns the Produce Patch Farm Market with her husband, Marvin, holds a basket of locally grown asparagus while standing in front of several flowers that she grows herself in her family’s greenhouse.

WASHINGTON, Ind. — When Amy Holstine and her husband, Marvin, opened their first Produce Patch Farm Market in 1995, she never dreamed that they would have enough business 18 years later to open three additional stands.

She noted that her passion for growing plants comes from her background of being raised on a vegetable farm in Ohio.

After receiving a degree in agricultural economics from Ohio State University, Holstine accepted a job in Washington in southern Indiana, where she met Marvin, whose background was in grain crops such as corn and soybeans.

After they were married, they realized there wasn’t a lot of potential for expansion in his current farming operation, so she dragged him into the produce business, she noted.

The four stands are located in Jasper, Loogootee, Montgomery and Washington and serve consumers in three different counties.

Holstine said most of the produce for sale at the stands is grown at their family farm. They plant about 30 acres of sweet corn each year to ensure there will be enough of the crop to stock all four of the stands for the entire season.

The Produce Patch is very particular about the quality of its sweet corn, Holstine stressed, because it is the farm stands’ signature item.

Besides the acreage that’s planted in sweet corn, she noted that her husband, along with their kids, Lucas and Abby, and other employees also plant between seven to eight acres in cucumbers, green beans, potatoes, squash, tomatoes and zucchini.

However, she added, to have enough produce to last the entire season, they have to do a lot of different plantings, especially of green beans and sweet corn.

“We plant green beans every week,” she said, noting that once the bean is harvested from the plant, it is done and will produce no more.

Holstine shared that one of the reasons she believes the Produce Patch has done so well since the first location was opened is attributed to the public becoming more conscientious about eating healthy and buying locally grown food.

She has even added flowers that she grows herself at the family’s greenhouse.

Even though she is not able to grow it herself because of timing issues with the flowers, she has started getting locally grown asparagus from Knox County to provide consumers with more options for fresh produce.

“I love asparagus. I put it on the grill with some olive oil and garlic salt. It’s amazing,” she said.

More information about the Produce Patch Farm Market can be found at www.producepatchfarmmarket.com.