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