Our mission is to provide the freshest, healthiest, most affordable, locally grown organic produce to the surrounding community. We are not just another local community garden or organic farm - our project was designed to exist as a full force, food-production system capable of generating massive outputs, using little resources, 365 days a year, with minimal operational cost.
North Florida Farms is not only committed to providing safe, affordable fresh food to consumers and restaurants, our project was designed from the start as a powerful solution to alleviate poverty and hunger. The first stage of our project will provide over 80 full time jobs with livable wages, and over 55,000 pounds of fresh food to local food banks in the first year.
Our long-term goal is to impact agricultural practices on a global level, through increasing awareness and educational programs.
Our vision is to have an organic high-yield agriculture system outside of every population center in the US - a system that supports itself through food sales, provides jobs, and gives food to the needy. This agricultural project will serve as a model to the global communities such as Congo, Haiti, Uganda, and the struggling Eastern European Countries.
Our project is a family run operation, founded by Dale Sellers and his wife Mary Kay. Just like you, we want the best quality, safest, healthiest food for our family. Many years ago, after realizing the lack of locally grown, chemical-free food available, we set out to create a workable solution - a system that supports itself through food sales, provides massive employment opportunities, and gives food to the impoverished people in the community. North Florida Farms is our answer to the need for sustainable healthy food, jobs, and economic development, on a community and global level.
What makes our project unique is the design of our sustainable agricultural system.
Our farming practices are very different from systems used by the average farmer, even those growing organic produce or using hydroponics. For years, we have gathered information and technical assistance from scientists and researchers around the world. We have also conducted extensive research at our own Agricultural Research Centers in various locations.
Although there are pieces of related research scattered throughout the global community, we have not found one university, governmental organization, or private company which has engineered a system that achieves the results we are accomplishing - the produce yields, the nutrient value of our food, the sustainability of the system, or the cost efficiency.
Our farming method is a hybrid soil-based hydroponic system. In simple terms, we use liquid-based fertilizers and organic amendments to build the nutrition of the soil and the plant. This farming practice has many distinct benefits:
Through specially designed eco-shelters, we are able to grow the produce varieties everyone wants throughout the year, regardless of the season or weather conditions
Using only half the water and fertilizer, our system generates the equivalent of up to fifteen acres of produce from one acre
Organic produce has been shown to be more nutritious than non-organic. Our soil has proper nutrients and minerals, meaning highly nutritious vegetables for the consumer
Through testing more than twenty species of microorganisms, we are able to improve root growth and increase water and fertilizer holding capacity
We use advanced plant nutrition and microorganisms to improve the plant’s digestion and immune system, reducing pesticide use and plant disease
We have an organic biological growing system that helps plants to outperform their genetically modified counterparts
We drought-proof plants and increase their resistance to extreme weather conditions
Through testing a wide range of organic fertilizers, we have determined which products out of the hundreds sold are actually effective
We repair damaged soil, replace minerals, and create a fertile layer of topsoil
The end result - fresh, locally grown produce available to you and the local community, every week of the year. Our higher yields and sustainable farming practices allow us to keep our produce varieties affordable to the community and also allow us to provide food to disadvantaged people in need.
According to the Federal government, the nation's economic crisis along with other issues has resulting in the highest recorded level of people who lack enough food in the United States. There are an estimated 50 million people, including one out of every four children, who are not eating enough food because they simply can’t afford to buy it.
Because of the efficiency of our agricultural system, we have an extremely low financial overhead. With our current projections, by the summer of 2013, the profits we receive from produce purchases will allow us operate our farm, continue our research and donate up to 40 percent of our crop yields to feed the hungry, disadvantaged people in the community.
Along with providing healthy and delicious produce, we are conducting ongoing research to further develop our sustainable agricultural system. Sustainable agriculture technology is a critical key to solving the current environmental, health and economic problems occurring on a global level. Extensive scientific research conducted by NASA and the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Control demonstrates the need to prevent fast approaching future crises.
Agriculture Creates Civilization
According to the consensus of top exerts, global agriculture, including the standard farming practices of the United States, is not operating in a sustainable way. Whether it's the lack of adaptability to climate change, the destructive effects that synthetic fertilizers have on our topsoil, or the incredible distance most food travels before it arrives on the dinner table, our food supply is at risk - this is a national/global security issue.
"Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens."
Through our research, we have created an agricultural system which can be successfully transferred to any geographical region or climate in the world. This is the heart of our work. The long-term goal of North Florida Farms is to establish a network of Agricultural Research Centers worldwide. These centers will provide sustainable food supply and also serve to instruct other farmers who desire to transition to organic, sustainable based agriculture.
We are implementing and researching the use of aquatic animals to cultivate plants in a recirculating system, which is referred to as Aquaponics. Nutrients from the fish are fed to the plants and in turn, the plants filter the water which contains the fish. This synergistic agricultural system is proving to be successful at reaching higher crop yields and healthier produce.
Tilapia, the fish of choice in our aquaponics research, is a delicious source of protein. Unlike other farm raised tilapia (which primarily come from Vietnam and other eastern countries), our system has low nitrate levels. This prevents the toxic effects which occur when nitrates exist at higher levels. We also use organic feed to keep our system as healthy as possible. This is proving to be a viable solution to meeting the protein and calorie needs on community and global levels.