By Himanee Gupta
In the Christian Bible, Jireh is a referent to “God provides.” In the Bible, Abraham describes a place as Jehovah Jireh, where it states that the “Lord will provide.”
Lou Russell worked for more than four decades in supply chain management. He spent 32 of those years in the Navy. In civilian life, he has worked with a pharmaceutical firm, Global Foundries, and Kellogg. Now, with his farm Jireh Organic Farms & Livestock, his goal also is to provide.
Lou started his farm in 2021. Now, as one of the Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s newer vendors, he sells eggs and chicken raised on his 26-acre farm in Galway and a site he owns in Fultonville. His philosophy is rooted in self-sufficiency, regenerative agricultural practices, and face-to-face interactions.
“As I think about what a farming community is, I think of it as a way that people look after each other, help one another out.”
Working with supply chains helped him understand the importance of efficiency within corporate food and other systems and the danger of what might result if the chain broke down. During the COVID-19 pandemic, as shortages of food and such basic essential items as toilet paper in grocery stores occurred, he decided to move forward.
Lou bought his land, established a flock of chickens, and began selling eggs out of a cooler. Neighbors and others purchased the items on an honor system. When he joined the Saratoga Farmers Market last spring, he did so in a quiet way. He set up a simple stall consisting of a table, banner, informational materials, and a cooler filled with eggs. People found him, bought his eggs, and came back.
Lou lives at his farm with two dogs, a few cats, his flock of chickens, and a herd of cows. The herd began with two Angus crosses that he purchased in 2021. One of them soon produced a calf, said Lou, adding, “I was so green I didn’t even realize she was pregnant.” The calf turned out to be a male. He bought two more Angus crosses last spring, one of which came with a calf. The other one produced a calf a few months later, giving him a herd of seven, and plans to offer beef to Saratoga marketgoers sometime in mid-2023.
**Unfortunately, Lou will not be at this week’s 11/12/22 Saturday market but he will be there every following week through April.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market will be open on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. from November through April. The market is held in the Wilton Mall Food Court, accessible from the TrustCo mall entrance, across from BJs, or the mall interior. Find us online at www.saratogafarmersmarket.org, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.