At The Market: ‘Learn as I go and expand as I can’

Lou Schipper is one of the newest farmers at the Arcata Market. He's been farming for two years but this is his first year on the Plaza. His booth, Schipper Family Farm, was filled last Saturday with lemon cukes so delicious you could eat them like an apple, squashes, cherry, Roma and heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and amazing looking Armenian cucumbers.

Schipper grows them off the grid on property in Honeydew. Right now he's working about half an acre but he has "the potential to do five to six acres."

He's got the right philosophy: "Learn as I go and expand as I can."

Schipper has a degree in forestry from Humboldt State University and you may recognize him from the time he worked at 3G's Hay and Grain. He says he's always wanted to farm.

"I had my own personal garden as a kid," he said.

YOUNG FARMER Lou Schipper of Schipper Family Farm. Janine Volkmar | Union

You can find his booth at the Fortuna Farmers' Market on Tuesday and at the Friday Night Market in Old Town.

He likes the night market because he can stay in town and get to the Saturday market easily.  Saves on the 70-plus mile drive to Honeydew.

He hopes to "put in an orchard." Schipper said, "I'm working on crop rotating and trying to expand."

He fell in love with the valley and got "a good deal on some land."

For now, his vegetables are delighting customers. If you are in the habit, as so many of us are, of heading straight to your usual booths at the market, stop by Lou's to check out those curly Armenian cukes with their soft skin or just to say "hey."

Along with Tammy Southard of Freshwater Gardens, Schipper is an example of the new younger farmers coming up. It's a pleasure to see them at the market.



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