Owner of Fox Farm, Urban Farmer
I have started an urban farm in the heart of Riverside. I grew up in South Dakota, on a medium size dairy, cattle, grain, and corn farm and moved to California to pursue a career in restaurant management. I was always interested in agriculture, but grew up with my parents struggling to make a living in farming and eventually losing the farm to the bank. I became involved in the movement for local food production with the Riverside Food Cooperative, which I am a board member. I was presented the opportunity to manage a 2.5 acre orchard with plenty of room to grow produce. I am now back in agriculture and very excited about the future of local food production. I am still managing a restaurant, but work mostly nights which allows me to work the farm during the day.
About My Farm
Fox Farm is an urban farm location at Hapemen Ranch, a 2.5 acre orchard with 75 various fruit tree. This farm is completely surrounded by houses and located in the heart of Riverside CA. Farmer Scott Berndt has cultivated about a 1/3 of an acre of vegetables, which he provides to local restaurants in Riverside as well as to the Riverside Unified School District through its Farm-to-School program.
Scott’s goals are to bring a full acre into production, growing various kinds of vegetables that are needed for RUSD and local restaurants. His biggest challenge is growing enough variety to supply restaurants with their entire menu of produce.
Scott’s goal is to acquire and install a walk in cooler on the farm, and grow what he can for restaurants and RUSD. He plans to source the items he does not have available from other local farms, and provide a one stop place for local chefs and restaurant owners to pick up produce rather than have to visit 2-3 farms for their needs.
This discussion will focus on identifying a market opportunity, promoting it effectively, and charging at the right price. This season will go over the fundamentals of strategic planning, understanding social media, and the art of telling your farm story.