Negaard Produce & Greenhouse
Grass Range, MT
Negaard Produce and Greenhouse is a family-owned and operated local farm located in GrassRange, approximately 100 miles from Billings. Daniel and Rachel Negaard, along with help from their children, sell produce, breads, jams and jellies, homemade dishrags and potholders.
The Negaard’s initially raised cattle, however, due to the size of the farm, found that it was not profitable enough to support a family, so they added a greenhouse approximately 15 years ago. Rachel began raising bedding plants in the 10×40 greenhouse. After purchasing a 30×80 greenhouse from a local source, it was too large to simply raise bedding plants, so they diversified and started growing tomatoes. Once they were successful, they began to grow other produce both in the greenhouse and the garden outside.
“If it’ll grow, we will plant it and sell it,” says Rachel, “When people try local foods, they like it. We pick one day and deliver the next. It’s not sitting in a warehouse somewhere for a week. Once people try fresh, local produce they want it. It sells itself. For instance, at the farmer’s market in Lewistown and also at Good Earth Market, people know you and that’s who they want to buy from. They want to buy from that person because they know they are honest,” Rachel states.
When it comes to local food, one of the advantages is the freshness of the product. Rachel says, “Normally it goes to a warehouse and sits for maybe a week, and then it goes to a grocery store where it might be on the shelf for a week or two. When you are eating locally that doesn’t happen.”
The Negaard’s are in the process of constructing another building for washing vegetables and possibly another greenhouse. Additionally, they have an industrial-sized kitchen where Rachel’s wonderful bread, jams and jellies are produced.
By collecting and storing rain water and then reusing it in an injector system in their greenhouse, the Negaards practice sustainability in every aspect of their operation.