Monthly Archives: March 2016

Conversation with Vincent Porcello, Porcello Farm (Charlottesville, VA)

In the spring of 2015, the Virginia Farmer and Rancher Coalition team met with several farmers across the state to hear their stories about how they got started in farming, how they run their operations, and how they manage labor and tasks on their farm. Vincent Porcello, of Porcello Farm just south of Charlottesville, VA, volunteered to share some of his experiences with us.

Vince feels confident in how he and his wife, Jessica, got started in farming. They worked with the local extension office, attended seminars, started small, and stayed organized. Vince encourage new farmers to plan ahead in order to increase your chances of being successful and enjoying the benefits of running a farm.

Vince and Jessica work alone on the farm, following the light of the day. They are never idle throughout the year – maintenance gets done in the winter and major production gets done in the spring and summer. The labor aspect is very demanding. However, working on their farm fits with their lifestyle more than hiring labor would, and Vince encourages farmers to consider their lifestyle goals before bringing hired labor onto their operations.

Vince and Jessica started selling at the local farmer’s market and eventually expanded their market to include stores in town. Now, they are able to sell flowers and a number of vegetables to local sources.

 

Interviewed by: Cathryn Kloetzli, Virginia Cooperative Extension

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Conversation with Jamie Barrett, Bellair Farm (Charlottesville, VA)

In the spring of 2015, the Virginia Farmer and Rancher Coalition team met with several farmers across the state to hear their stories about how they got started in farming, how they run their operations, and how they manage labor and tasks on their farm. One such farmer is Jamie Barrett, owner of Bellair Farm. Bellair Farm is a CSA in Charlottesville, VA.

Jamie was not always farming, or even in agriculture. He found farming through the Farm School in Massachusetts and felt fulfilled by the work he did there. Jamie then worked at Appleton Farms in Massachusetts until deciding to start his own enterprise in Charlottesville. Hear all about how Jamie found farming and established Bellair Farm in the video below.

Bellair Farm has been established for five years and includes, in total, about 300 acres with a vegetable farm and pastureland. While Bellair Farm is a CSA, some of the vegetables are sold through other channels. Listen to Jamie tell us about what is grown on the farm and where products are sold.

Bellair hires a handful of workers every season, introducing new workers to the farm through a guided approach. Jamie takes great care to make sure that the goals of his employees align well with work on the farm and helps them to reach their personal farming aims. Hear about Bellair Farm’s labor situation and how workers are managed on the farm.

In the future, Jamie would like to continue expanding the farm and begin planning more long-term. Feeling confident in the enterprise and being able to plan in this way takes more time on the farm and Jamie is excited to keep moving forward. Listen as Jamie shares his vision and goals for Bellair Farm’s future.

 

Interviewed by: Cathryn Kloetzli, Virginia Cooperative Extension

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