BreezyHollow

by Chris Nordick

Breezy Hollow Sign

From garlic to tomatoes, peppers to eggplant, and just about everything in between – Breezy Hollow Farm loves to grow vegetables. Melons, cauliflower, lettuce mixes, squash, cabbage, herbs and 144 tomato plants are grown on the small but efficient three acre farm located in Cambridge, Illinois. Heather and Bryan Feehan are the brains, sweat, and muscle behind the no-spray, no-artificial fertilizer vegetable farm. Together with their two small adorable children, they tend the soil, manage weeds, battle insects, and nurture amazing deeply flavorful vegetables for both their young family and for sale to neighbors and interested customers.
In addition to growing vegetables on their farm the Feehans have chickens, peacocks, rabbits, cows, horses, a pig and a cat. Using rotational pasturing strategies, the animals are moved every other day or so to different parts of the pasture in order to ensure that the soil is not compacted by heavy hooves and the plant species

Breezy Hollow Family

balance remains healthy. Supplemental hay or grain is typically only needed when the pasture is dormant. Consequently, Breezy Hollow Farm’s chickens lay the most beautiful yellow-yoked and nutritious eggs. All the animals live their life as nature intended – roaming, grazing, frolicking, and interacting under big skies and green fields. “I like to go out and pick and throw whatever I’ve picked into my mouth!” Byran proudly states when referring to the natural practices of farming instituted on their farm. Pesticide or herbicidal residue on the plants or vegetables is never a concern. Yet those natural practices come at a price. Without spraying – even organic spraying – Breezy Hollow Farm struggles against insect pressure and damage. Squash bugs seem to be a real problem for the farm this year. “We’ve lost about 30% of our vine crops due to insects this year.” Yet this loss doesn’t change their farming philosophy. They are committed to providing the most nutritious and healthy produce for their children, family, and customers.

Breezy Hollow Trellis

One of the natural practices Breezy Hollow Farm uses to improve soil health is to fertilize using composted teas using rabbit droppings. This steeped tea is integrated into their soil and is filled with nutrients for improved soil health which then creates nutritious vegetables. For as any farmer knows, you can’t have great vegetables without great soil. And another strategy Bryan and Heather use is ground fabric.

Breezy Hollow Stand

One of the natural practices Breezy Hollow Farm uses to improve soil health is to fertilize using composted teas using rabbit droppings. This steeped tea is integrated into their soil and is filled with nutrients for improved soil health which then creates nutritious vegetables. For as any farmer knows, you can’t have great vegetables without great soil. And another strategy Bryan and Heather use is ground fabric.

Breezy Hollow Produce

Within and between rows, air and water permeable covers are used for growing. Plants are transplanted directly into the fabric. Most of the weeding necessary in many natural farming practices is thus eliminated. Only the weeds poking up around the plant need to be hand pulled. The fabric also helps hold moisture in so supplemental irrigation is not needed as often. Good for the environment and good for the backs and muscles of Bryan and Heather! You can find Breezy Hollow Farms fresh produce and farm-fresh eggs at their self-serve farm stand on 310 South 1st Street, Cambridge, Illinois and on Fridays in East Moline on 19th street.