Heirloom Haus Offers Local Farmer’s Market

Heirloom Haus Offers Local Farmer’s Market

By Cindy Ladage

Pawnee farmer Serena Basham opened her Heirloom Haus, farm stand for on the farm
shopping on June 4th for locals, and to the public on June 11th. Open Tuesdays and Thursdays
from 2-6, and Saturdays from 10-3, at the Heirloom Haus, they are offering what Serena called,
“The freshest locally grown produce, meats, and local goods.”

Located at 35315 E. 9th street by the old Zenobia church, central Illinois residents can find
almost anything they need to put a fresh, healthy, locally grown meal together. Serena grows
vegetables using regenerative practices. “I grow primarily produce,” Serena said. “I grow 40
different vegetables, and two types of fruit, melons, and blackberries.”

The top vegetables she sells the most are carrots, radishes, beans, and beets. She also raises
broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, collard greens, eggplant, cabbage, kale okra, peas, peppers
both purple and lunch box, and a large variety of lettuce, squash, and tomatoes.

She is working with several local farmers like Lederbrand Farms who will provide the beef.
Serena is also collaborating with a pork farmer, chicken farmer, and produce farmer all based in
the Jacksonville area. You won’t have to travel far to find most all the ingredients for a fresh,
local healthy meal.

Along with the offerings of meat and produce, Serena also will offer Funks Grove grains and
baking mixes. “We will stock some dry goods.” She added.

A member of the Central Illinois Young Farmer’s Coalition, Illinois Specialty Growers, and the
Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Serena wears a lot of hats keeping education of the business of
growing front and center.

In a relatively small space, Serena makes a lot happen. Growing plants in tandem, she makes
her space work. Plants, except for perennials, start out in the greenhouse, then are planted in
the field. While she has a tractor for the heavy work she said, “Most everything is done by

She pointed out a few beds that are her “turn over” beds where some early spring plants are in
the ground for only three weeks before she turns them over to another type of produce. She can
accomplish this using a lot of nutrient rich compost.

This year she has added something new, flowers. “I am growing sunflowers, zinnia, Calendula,
Cosmos, and more,” she added. But she favors vegetables because, “My heart is with feeding
people, but I learned, that people appreciate the beauty of flowers.

This local farmer started her journey six years ago. “I was studying business while pregnant with
my youngest little,” she shared.

Serena and her husband Ed have three children, Judah (14), Amelia (7), and Samson (6). She
began her farm journey with a backyard garden using starts from the farmer’s market. “I was
dreaming of a backyard garden,” she shared first renting an empty lot in a residential area in

“It just clicked,” she said about the gardening, and expansion. She figured, “Since I was in love
with gardening, and going to business school, this is exactly what I should be doing.”

Getting started though took a bit of time. “I had to navigate the regulations, and get the capital
to buy this house,” she said about the space in the country where they now have their business.

“My husband Ed and I sold all that wasn’t nailed down. We penny pinched, and Ed has an off
the farm job working as an HVAC technician. We made it out here in year four, and I reinvested
everything back into the farm.”

“Ed built the farmstead (where Heritage Haus will sell their wares). He is my number one
supporter,” Serena shared. The journey to where she is now took time to narrow down just
exactly what she wanted Heritage Haus to be.

“I started out with everything, meat, chicken, eggs and produce. It was too much, and I needed
to hone it down to growing vegetables fulltime.”

Originally, they planned to open in 2020, but with COVID, it turned out to be a practice year. “In
2021 I started out at the farmer’s market in Springfield,” she shared.

Heirloom Haus is now in full swing, and Serena is putting in the hours working 50 to 60 hours in
the field to bring fresh produce to local buyers. “When you shop here, you support local farmers
that are paid equitably offered to the consumer. This is the true heart of local foods and
shopping, and the buys go back directly into the farm community.”

While she said that USDA has not identified this area as a food dessert, she said that it can feel
like it without fresh, healthy produce available nearby. What she loves about this venture is she
said it is, “A farmer to farmer community over competition. When we work together effectively,
we meet more goals efficiently.”

The market will be open all summer, then will continue on a smaller scale into the fall. For more
information, you can find Heirloom Haus on Facebook, and Instagram.