Meet the Farmer - Mike Pasquinelli, Nature Fresh Farms, LLC.
Farm: Nature Fresh Farms, LLC Location: Yuma, AZ What do you grow on your farm?
Nature Fresh Farms grows a wide variety of leafy greens including spinach, spring mix, iceberg, romaine, butter lettuce, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, cabbage and kale. Nature Fresh also grows broccoli, cantaloupe and wheat. What is your family’s favorite Leafy Green vegetable?
Our family enjoys all leafy greens, but romaine is what we eat the most of. Romaine has a great taste and texture and is very versatile to use. Whether we're having a salad or lettuce wraps, romaine is always the family choice. What is the biggest challenge you face every day?
Labor has become the biggest challenge on the farm. The current labor force is aging, and encouraging younger employees to be engaged in the day-to-day operations has been difficult. There is a lot of new technology coming into agriculture, and that presents the younger workforce a great opportunity to get involved at the ground level on some of these new initiatives. Some of our older workers are having a difficult time adapting to the technology and that is where the industry could really benefit from younger employees. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of the job is knowing that we can provide a good job at a good wage for our employees, while providing healthy and safe vegetables to the United States and other countries for almost 5 months out of the year. Being in Yuma, we have the ideal climate and temperatures during the winter months to grow the crops that the market is wanting for their healthier lifestyle.
What is something most people don't know about the process of growing leafy greens?
The process of variety selection is a very intricate process. As our weather changes, growers need the right varieties to adapt to the growing conditions. The first part of the season we have diminishing sunlight while going to colder temperature then it changes to longer days and warmer weather. We must be able to adapt in order to provide optimal growing conditions for our crops.