Two years of hydroponic farming have taught me plenty: first, I would have to know a lot more about farming in general to reach any level of mastery; second, it’s time to let a more experienced farmer take the reins. After a disappointing 2013 growing season all over Florida, the decision to lease BerryStacks for the next year was easily made.
KYV farm is bringing it’s expertise to BerryStacks for the upcoming season. Owned and run by Francisco Arroyo and his wife Vivian Bayona, KYV grows certified organic produce, and practices environmentally friendly farming methods. Francisco has a background in dairy farming. He and Vivian have been farming together for seven years. New to hydroponics, Francisco attended the training workshop offered by Bob Hochmuth of North Florida Research and Education this spring. We are confident in his ability to show us how it’s done!
BerryStacks will be planted with 30,000 strawberry plugs this September. That’s almost a 30% increase over the number of plants we had last season. KYV will be using coco coir and pine bark, in an 80/20 mix, as planting medium. This combination is fast becoming an industry standard in Florida, and should produce healthy, robust plants.
Plans to stock the farm store with a combination of seasonal certified organic and traditional field-grown produce are being made. Opening date and hours of operation are yet to be defined.
We anticipate a terrific 2014 season. I for one, look forward to the novelty of going to BerryStacks and picking strawberries instead of trimming plants!