This week marks the official start to my internship at Bob’s Berries Organic Urban Farm. Up until this point I have been volunteering on a weekly basis getting to know the in’s and out’s of working on the farm. In addition to expanding my overall knowledge of organic and urban farming practices, I also hope to do some sustainability consulting on the property to improve its efficiency. Other objectives for this internship include expanding the farms social media presence in order to reach a greater customer base. Currently, I have expanded the social media outlets of the farm to include Instagram and Twitter. This has shown promising results by nearly doubling the amount of followers on the Facebook page and getting more people involved with social media that had not previously existed. My external supervisor is Rob Clemons, a local business owner and entrepreneur in Riverview. He runs his own A/C business and has an urban farm on his property as a side project for the community. Together we plan on teaching each other various things about sustainability and farming.
At the moment, we have various crops which will grow blueberries, plums, passion fruit, olives, and pecans during their respective seasons. We also sell local honey and are in the process of constructing a chicken coop to produce farm fresh eggs. As for future renovations, we are looking to install vertical strawberry gardens which I will be assisting in the design and installation process for this project. I have already done and learned so much in the past couple weeks I’m really looking forward to what I will learn in the future. Food has always been a passion of mine and in today’s world it has become clear that we are more detached from our food then we need to be. This is why I feel that urban farming is important and will help to solve many of the negative side effects of our current food system. Reduction of chemicals, waste, and emissions are just the start of what urban farming has to offer. The community in which the farm is located already features many urban farms and farmers markets so the demand for these products is there.
At the moment we do not have anything to sell besides honey and composted soil, but have seen tremendous progress from many of the crops on property. The blueberries have just finished an amazing harvest this year and have nearly doubled in size during their downtime. Passion fruit is another crop we have been tending to on the farm and this has also shown significant growth during the off-season. The social media plays a huge role in keeping customers involved in the production process, as well as, creating a sense of anticipation for the next harvest. Social media has also provided the farm with a greater opportunity to reach people willing to volunteer their time. I’m extremely excited to watch the progression of my work and have it positively impact my community. If you would like to add any of our social media outlets the links are listed below.