The seeds of Berry Good Farms were sown in the spring of 2011. Berry Good Farms was born out of the desire to expand the North Florida School of Special Education curriculum for young adults with intellectual and developmental differences in our Transition and Post Graduate programs. We dreamt of a way to create a haven for our newly graduated students that would provide hands-on experience and vocational training, and an opportunity for our young adults to learn the value of independence through honest work.
At Berry Good Farms, young adults with intellectual differences work with job coaches and staff to plant, grow and harvest a wide variety of organic and seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs. This produce is then marketed and sold to chefs, restaurants, schools, caterers, retail outlets, event planners and the local community.
Our Berry Good Farms horticulture students are also trained in the preparation of individual organic produce bags, dipping sauces, dressing mixes and dried herb mixes using ingredients from the farm. These goods are prepared and then loaded onto the food truck, where they are sold to members of the community.
Berry Good Farms is an urban farm featuring a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, as well as hydroponics and aquaponics, vertical grow poles, a 30×60 greenhouse for herbs, veggie starts, and microgreens as well as an air-conditioned growing shed for wheatgrass. Organic practices are applied in all growing areas on the farm.
The Berry Good Farms aquaculture project is integrated into our greenhouse and consists of two 500 gallon fish tanks that raise blue tilapia and native sunfish. The nutrient-rich water from the tanks is used in the garden and greenhouse to water and fertilize the vegetables and other product through an aquaponics system.
Berry Good Farms’ roots reach far and wide, and the curriculum has grown to encompass the Culinary Arts Program, Berry Good Farms on the Go Food Truck, Berry Good Farms Mobile Market, and Barkin’ Biscuits, a micro-enterprise in which our Transition Students and Post-Graduates create all-natural dog biscuits using ingredients from the Berry Good Farms garden.