For the 70th year, tractors are once again rumbling down the dirt roads of L.H. Piggott and Girls Farm. The drivers of these tractors and the men and women who work on the farm are busy harvesting the crops that were planted back in the spring. While much has changed on the farm, including its size and the variety of produce grown, much has also stayed the same including a commitment to sustainable farming and a desire to grow the highest quality produce possible.
Back in 1949, Laurel “Bud” Piggott began this farm with his wife Frances after serving in World War II. Over the years they had six daughters, hence the name of the farm, L.H. Piggott & Girls. Throughout the years many different fruits and vegetables have been grown on the farm including strawberries, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, pumpkins, and much more. Today, 70 years later, the farm now encompasses over 750 acres. 150 of these acres are dedicated to growing cucumbers, another 100 acres are used for growing zucchini and yellow squash, tomatoes are grown on 42 acres of the farm, peppers on another 20 acres, and 4 acres are reserved for growing pumpkins and cauliflower. The remaining 434 acres are currently in rotation, meaning that they have been planted with a cover crop which adds nutrients into the soil and prevents water runoff. Crop rotation is an essential element to sustainable farming. The majority of the produce grown on the farm will find its way into large grocery stores, including Meijer and Wal-mart. The rest will be sold at the retail market on the farm, Piggott’s Farm Market & Bakery.
Laurel and Frances retired from farming in the 90’s and the farm was bought by their daughter Laurie and her husband George McManus III. The McManus’ now operate the farm and market with the help of over 100 employees, including several family members.
Over the years, L.H. Piggott and Girls have won several awards for sustainability, soil conservation, and have also been recognized by the Migrant Services Committee for the high-quality living arrangements and excellent working conditions provided to their employees.
70 years on from the beginning, L.H. Piggott and Girls Farm in flourishing and family and employees of the farm look forward to many more years of sustainably growing high quality fruits and vegetables in Benton Harbor, MI