Our Mission & Growing Practices
Our mission is to cultivate delicious seasonal produce that is good for the body and for the environment. We fulfill this mission by incorporate holistic growing practices that nurture the local ecosystem and community that in turn benefits the farm. Everything we bring to market is grown on our property, using natural growing methods without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. We continually strive to create efficient systems for producing food and caring for the land.
We are proud to grow organically, and that our small farm has become a large source of healthy food for ourselves and our community. We live on our farm and we eat what we grow.
Our farm takes food safety seriously, Derek is certified in produce safety practices for growers through the Produce Safety Alliance, and we follow strict procedures when handling produce, and maintain a clean packing facility.
We are both vegetarians and believe animals should be treated with the utmost care and respect for their well-being. All the ducks, geese and guinea fowl we raise on the farm are free-range, meaning they spend their days outside freely in pasture and are well protected from predators in coops in the evening. Guinea fowl help protect our crops from pests as that is their primary source of food.
Our History & Location
We first began growing our own food in 2011 on a small homestead in St Pete, FL. We were inspired to grow food after learning about our modern food system and becoming deeply troubled by how much of the USA’s fruit and vegetable production has been outsourced, along with the environmental and social problems with food globalization and its lack of sustainability. During this experience we found our passion was in growing food and sharing it with our family, friends and neighbors.
Derek graduated from FSU and spent several years in Tallahassee during college. Years later we had an opportunity to relocate to Tallahassee from St. Pete. We began saving until we could purchase the farm in 2017.
The previous owner of the farm was the former Director of the UF North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy and his wife. They had established an orchard of about 20 Satsuma trees and 150 blueberry bushes on the property. They also grew perennial peanut hay and raised sheep.
Our farm in Quincy, about 20 minutes West of Tallahassee, is situated on 11 acres in a quite neighborhood of mostly residential properties and some small farms. On our property we maintain a small pond, woods and wild areas that provides habitat for native wildlife. We grow about 3 acres of seasonal vegetables and have about an acre of fruit trees and gardens on the property. Our ducks and geese have about an acre of open pasture that we move around throughout the year.
Our location is unique, very hot in the Summer with very mild Winters, getting only a couple freezes each year. For this reason, we are able to grow year round, with the Fall – Spring being our most productive time of year. We live on our farm and spend time every day tuning into what is going on, this detailed attention is critical for organic systems.
We learned how to farm through working, actively paying attention, reading, talking with other farmers and gardeners. Derek spent a year working at another local farm in Quincy prior to opening our own farm.
Our Produce & Community
We grow a huge range of vegetables including several specialty vegetable varieties that are not sold in the grocery store. We also grow blueberries, satsumas, elderberry and we are planting even more fruit trees. We have 65 ducks that produce the best high protein eggs. We grow cut flowers in the Spring as well and are one of the few farms you can order local Mother’s Day flowers from.
We have grown our small family farm to produce tens of thousands of pounds of fruit and vegetables each year. We sell our produce through the Tallahassee Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning (TallahasseeFarmersMarket.com), the Red Hill’s Online farmers market (RHOMarket.com) and our seasonal farm club membership (visit our online store here for details), a veggie basket delivery program. Our produce is also regularly featured in local restaurants and the Community Co-op Market.
Derek is a board member of the Red Hills Small Farm Alliance, a non-profit organization that runs the RHO Market and maintains an educational program for farmers as well as hosting events promoting local producers.
We are a gay owned business that prioritizes LGBTQ inclusion in our hiring practices. We have an awesome team on the farm, Derek works full-time on the farm along with two part-time farm crew members. Aaron works from home and helps on the farm during his off time. We also often host WWOOFers on the farm, an educational farm stay program (wwoofusa.org)
Our excess produce is donated to several charities including Food Not Bombs Tallahassee, Second Harvest of the Big Bend, the Kearney Homeless Shelter, and the local Buddhist monastery.