I am a classically trained chef that decided growing food was much more satisfying for my soul than creating fancy dishes at fancy restaurants. I have my BS in Culinary Management. Seven years ago this April, I left my job as a Chef and decided it was time to make a change.
I have been working for Brenckle’s Organic Farm and Greenhouse (16063) for 7 years, with this season going on 3 years as Farm Manager.
We are a very small operation with 5 staff peak season, we farm about 20 acres of certified organic diversified vegetables. The farm uses direct sales in the form of a 175 person CSA program and farmers markets in Pittsburgh.
We also finish from plugs and cuttings, 4 greenhouses (8,000 sq ft) of annual flowers and hanging baskets and forced hyacinths and tulips for Easter.
My current responsibilities include:
Social media management
Flower ordering / color schemes / transplanting/ watering/ customer service / managing staff
Organic certification paperwork and inspections
Production of Organic vegetable seedlings for field production and on farm retail sales.
Ordering and choosing of organic vegetable varieties
Field work including transplanting, irrigation management, weeding, seeding, harvesting, washing/packing etc.
CSA management: organizing hosts, updating website and online storefront, fielding every CSA member emails/phone calls, Planning weekly CSA emails, newsletters and CSA contents
Operating at farmers markets including set up/breakdown and sales.
Tending a flock of 100 pasture raised layer hens
Managing wholesale accounts
My Wife and I would like to start our own farm and wellness center. I would like to farm organically for markets and a CSA program while integrating her expertise as a trauma therapist. She has over 7 years of experience practicing with all ages and diverse populations by developing therapeutic farming programs. My wife is also the creator of Shanti & Sunshine Wellness, an outlet for trauma informed movement & wellness services provided as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher and HoopYogini Certified Instructor with a goal of using holistic wellness methods to help others heal. Such programs would include social skills groups for neurodiverse individuals, life skills and physical trauma processing through movement instruction, therapy services, and farming based opportunities for persons living with trauma to heal through a mind/body connection and a connection with nature, farming-based mindfulness trainings, group therapy offerings, and select retail products supporting whole body wellness made with ingredients I grow.
Housing would be needed, ideally on farm, but we are flexible and could rent locally.
Looking For Arrangement Type:
Buy / Lease / Lease To Own
Looking For Farms With Acreage:
Desired Farming Type:
Formulated Business Plan: Yes
Marketing Plan: Yes
Will use land for crop production: Yes
Years of Experience: 7
Agricultural Class & Degree Info:
Starting the Small Farm Dream – Penn State Extension 2016