The NASDA Foundation Farm2Food Accelerator has allowed a mom of five to stay at home with her family while also keeping her passion for creating meals alive.

Amy Harper hung up her chef’s coat to focus on being a mother. Now, she uses her culinary skills through her microgreens farm. Harper said her children are with her through every step of the farm.

“It’s great to teach them how to grow their food and how to run a business,” Harper said.

Harper had difficulty selling her greens, even after customers sampled them. She said they loved the flavor and health benefits but were intimidated by utilizing them daily.

“So, it was time for me to put my chef coat back on and use the skills my business management degree taught me,” Harper said. “I created a pesto from 2 of my greens incorporating olive oil from a friend’s business. People loved to sample the pesto and would buy both greens and ask for the rest of the ingredient list.”

Harper is a member of the Florida Farm2Food Accelerator program, a program supporting women farmers by providing practical tools and knowledge to increase income stability and resilience to unpredictable market events.

“Farm2Food helped me not only improve my product, but it also made me think outside of the box while the community of Farm2Food members and staff asked the hard questions, offered suggestions, and cheered me along the way,” Harper said. “After going through the steps, I determined that I could offer a fresh blendable pesto that kept the product unique and profitable.

Now, we are currently working with the marketing firm creating labels and getting ready for production.”

Applications for the 2022 Florida Farm2Food cohort have been extended to Dec. 20th, 2021, at noon. For more information about the program, visit the website.