After 5 years of growing a variety of organic veggies for the public, we found a study that showed Florida had almost the lowest interest in fresh, local, and organic products in the entire country! That explained to us why people were far from consistent in purchasing their veggies here.
We continued to grow for a few of our loyal customers and then moved on to growing and providing Microgreens and veggies to local, higher-end restaurants. Chefs love fresh produce!
Fast forward to March 2020 with the Corona Virus pandemic and we became inundated with calls and emails asking when we were open and what we had grown. We decided to accommodate the people that want access to our fresh, local, and organic produce. We hope to have enough variety to sell in early May.
If nothing else, perhaps the situation this virus has put us in will turn people toward purchasing and supporting local farms and businesses.
There aren't a lot of local farms left and there certainly won't be as many small businesses left when this is over.
Another option is to grow your own. This is a wonderful way to feel more self-sufficient and confident in food security.
Another plus from this situation, hopefully, is for us to take our health more seriously and not support the packaged food industry that only takes away our health, not enhance it.
With a 30 year background in growing produce in the ground for family and friends, owner and grower Pat Schenavar has moved up to a more sustainable way of growing by means of 'hydroponics' and into the business of providing locally grown produce for sale to the community.
"We use no synthetic pesticides or chemicals. All of my experience in growing is in using only organic methods. This is what I believe in and how I want my family to eat".
After studying hydroponics for about 2 years, we finally decided on a Hydrostacker system to start off with. In August 2014, the system was delivered and set up. We grew a little bit of everything that Fall, just to see what grew well and what didn't. By early 2015, we had a better idea of what and how to grow certain things. June 2015 found us erecting 2 shade houses using Aluminet reflective shade cloth so we could grow through the summer. What a wonderful difference that made! Now, almost 1 year after starting on our hydroponic adventure, we are designing and building
phase ll. Fall 2015 will have an abundance of wonderful produce - all grown using only organic methods!
After 23 years of homeschooling her 4 children, Pat found a direction to spend her now 'free' time. Besides giving horseback riding lessons and boarding horses for the past 10 years, growing hydroponically is a new challenge that is well worth the effort.
"George Bernard Shaw has a quote that I love, however, I did change the 'he' to 'she'".
'Happy is the woman who can make a living by her hobby'.
The summer of 2018 I learned from a study that Florida ranks almost last in the country for the want of 'fresh, local and organic' produce.
That explained why most of my customers were only coming to the farm every now and then.
Armed with that knowledge, I upped my game on growing Microgreens and began offering them to local chefs, some of who I also grow veggies for.
I am also going back to my roots and switching from hydroponics to soil.
I do still grow for a few families that want to 'eat from the farm'. If you want to be one of them, feel free to contact me about doing so.
Growing for the community and offering clean produce, free of chemicals and pesticides, has been where my heart is, but if there aren't enough people who want to eat like this, I have to change my plan.