How did off the bluff farms get started?
The short answer is my love of food and flavor had a chance meeting with its first homegrown tomato and I just wanted to share that experience with the world.
The long answer is a series of events from being kicked out of my biology major, to happening into an urban planning class that re-sparked my passions, to a Sustainable Tallahassee committee that allowed me to focus those passions on the local food system, all were events that played their part. In that same time under some sad circumstances I was able to move into a house with a yard, the freedom to dream, and that fateful tomato plant. Combine that all with a love of working with my hands, food, people, nature, and biological systems I was really just following my gut, both figuratively and literally. I love the Steve Jobs quote ” you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” and that’s how I feel about the journey to start Off the Bluff Farms. I could point to a lot of things that led me here but what it comes down to is I really found a for love growing good clean food, and a love for the enjoyment it brings to others.
What do you want visitors and locals to know about off the bluff farms that they may not already know?
There was a long time I thought I wanted to be a chef. To be honest, had I not listened to the well meaning advice about how hard the work and the hours were (joke’s on them #farmer) I might have gone to culinary school over college. Though, that love of the culinary arts has not disappeared, it has just been refocused. I strive to find the most flavorful plant varieties and grow them to their peak freshness – providing the building blocks for a Michelin star meal, not only for chefs, but for anyone who buys from Off the Bluff. Just like any good chef I’m also constantly checking up on food trends and experimenting with little known and exotic crops. Exploring new possibilities on the plate never gets old to me and although they’re not all winners, who knows maybe we can discover the next kale together.
How has off the bluff farms grown since it started?
So glad you included a question about growth so I could drop some farm puns. Well we’ve had a lot growing on since the seed for Off the Bluff was planted (see what I did there, just getting warmed up). We’re still just the seedling of a tree we hope will fruit for years to come. Ok Im done, but really Im a first generation farmer so there has been a lot to learn about growing, not just the needs of each plant but also the commercial production techniques that take a plot from a being a garden to a farm. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to network with some incredible small farmers from around town and around the country who have helped me take huge leaps forward and I honestly wouldn’t be here without them. We’ve come a long way since that seed germinated (whoops snuck another one in) but still feel its just the beginning for us.
What brings people to off the bluff farms?
I’d like to think its the combination of the stunningly good looks of both myself and my produce but the reality is when we’re set up at market it’s definitely our beautiful hand painted sign from my more creative half.
What’s next for off the bluff farms?
We’re working on an expansion now so a lot of soil building is in our immediate future. Beyond that we’re looking forward to start cultivating relationships with more of the awesome local restaurants we have in town and just getting the chance to share our stuff with as many people as possible.
What social media does off the bluff farms use?
We’re on Facebook where we will post events and workshops we will be having but we really love Instagram @offtheblufffarms to show off how delicious everything looks. . We also have a website otbfarms.com where we will be building out a recipe page and more. While you’re there don’t forget to sign up for our email list to stay up to date and receive special offers.
Describe off the bluff farms in 5 words or less
Plant geeks and food freaks