The Economics of Sourcing and Buying Locally, Part 2
This episode of ORIGINS continues the conversation we started on Thursday, September 20th about the economic impact of buying and sourcing food locally. Last week we heard from Scott Nash, the CEO and Founder of Mom’s Organic Market and Tracy Ward, the Director of a new food hub in Easton called Chesapeake Harvest.
We’re continuing our look at the economics of buying and selling locally with two farmers and business owners with different but successful models.
Mark Toigo is the farmer/owner of Toigo Orchards in Shippensburg, PA. Mark began his career in agriculture at an early age moving with this family from Washington DC to his family’s newly acquired orchard in Shippensburg. After a brief stint in the aeronautics industry, Mark returned to the family farm. With expansion in mind, Mark was at the forefront of developing the farm to table model which allowed rural farms to collaborate and partner together to bring their products to the urban marketplace. This program is now an extensive network of Farmer’s Markets saturating the New York City and Washington DC areas. Mark sells to multiple sales channels including Whole Foods, Mom’s Market and others. He has a clear understanding of the marketplace and buyer trends which allows him to forecast trends and select crops that show promising yields and buyer preference. Mark makes sustainability a top priority and has built and retrofitted facilities to reduce the negative affects commercial agriculture has on the environment.
Our other panelist is Dave Liker, farmer/co-owner of Gorman Farms in Howard County, Maryland. Dave started working in organic farming over 20 years ago in both California and high altitude Colorado. He moved to Maryland in late 2008 to start Gorman Farms. They are now in their 10th season of production. They have expending and purchased their own farm in 2016 and are now operating off of 2 locations in Howard County. He grows diversified annual vegetables for a 600+ member CSA. They are a CSA only model and also run a pick your own strawberries for a few weeks in late spring.
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