Over the past year, I have watched this new City of Stuart icon grow from the ground up, but not until yesterday did I enter. It is located right across the street from my father and brother’s law offices, Thurlow and Thurlow, so I have seen it many times. A large parcel that was formerly the Salvation Army is now painted green, fenced, and having a rebirth as the new urban chic “Ground Floor Farm.”
Yes, urban agriculture is hip and bringing a healthy, and community business minded spirit to the St Lucie/Indian River Lagoon Region. Words like homesteading, self-reliance, chickens, and interdependence ring with new meaning and inspiration. Making and growing your own food is cool. Hydroponics teaches about water quality, conservation, and re-use and no pesticides.
Learning how easy it is to make cheese from owner Jackie Vitale —the process of “curds and whey,” was the beginning of real understanding for me!
Link to video “Making Ricotta Cheese:” taken by Julia Kelly: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF0WQrC5PpwVISION)
The event was hosted by Sewall’s Point residents Dean MacMillian and Lindsey Donigan. They invited about sixty of their closest friends to “Come Down on the Farm,” to showcase and help people learn about Ground Floor Farm. Owners Jackie Vitale, Micah Hartman, and Mike Meier shared their story of Ground Floor Farm and their vision for a hip and sustainable future for the City of Stuart, and for Martin County.
It was an amazing evening seeing the younger generation teach and inspire the older generation. As population continues to grow, and resources become more precious, a sustainable path to the future is finding its place. Such a path will continue to revitalize the City of Stuart, bring us all closer to home, and to each other. Kudos Jackie, Micah, and Mike for your creative business model and for your leadership!
To learn more about Ground Floor Farms if you have not visited stop by Wednesdays 3-7pm, October-May, and visit their farmstand. Their address is 100 SE MLK Blvd. in Downtown Stuart. To learn how to visit or become part: (http://www.groundfloorfarm.com)
Like them on Facebook: (https://www.facebook.com/groundfloorfarm/?fref=ts)
THEIR VISION:“We want Ground Floor Farm to be a part of a hometown renaissance, in which individuals focus their energy and creativity on the places they come from and through which the importance of a vibrant community center is reclaimed and revitalized.
THEIR MISSION “Grow and produce delicious food and give others the tools and resources to do so themselves. Show that productive agriculture can take place in small spaces in urban centers and that it can be economically sustainable.
Provide the space and resources for others to use their talents, skills, and interests to engage their community.Curate an exciting and diverse program of cultural and social events that engage the hearts and minds of our community.” GFF