Posts By Missy Smith
For Paul and Ember Crivellaro, of Hamburg, Pa.’s Country Time Farm, raising heritage pigs came as somewhat of a necessity, but has developed into a deep respect for people’s health and the animals themselves. In the early 1980s, the couple began raising pigs to sell to farmers. Their business held steady for a while until the hog market fell out in 1996. “We were giving pigs away at 15 cents a pound,” reflects Paul Crivellaro.
Chris Bajuk got into urban farming almost by chance. Though not from a farming background, he has been gardening in backyards since childhood. And, in recent years he has been experimenting with hydroponic systems. “A good friend of mine, and classmate from the University of Washington MBA program, came over to my house and was awestruck by how much produce I was growing on my backyard deck using hydroponics,” says Bajuk, who was growing peas, beans, tomatillos, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, watermelon and corn in buckets. “He suggested we start an urban farming business,” he reflects. “Thus, UrbanHarvest was born.”
In recent years, Florida has seen a rapidly growing desire for fresh, local fruits and vegetables. Consumers are looking for a variety of specialty crops, yet small farms along the Gulf Coast have had a difficult time meeting the increasing demand.
So, Panhandle Fresh Marketing Association (PFMA) decided to step in to help farmers thrive and contribute to a growing produce market.
In a modern world of grocery and big box stores, farmers have even more of a need to stick together. Forming personal and professional relationships is one of the most important aspects of running a successful farming business. For those just starting out, it is invaluable to be able to depend on experienced farmers who not only know the ins and outs of the industry, but also possess valuable knowledge surrounding farming practices.