Growing a Garden from the Ground Up with Karin Velez
Karin Velez is a U.S. Marine-turned-farmer-turned-educator. Alongside her husband, she built a small farm focused on raising animals on pasture for meat and eggs and growing fruits and vegetables with no chemical inputs. The farm started simply as a way to provide food for their family, but Karin’s love of gardening quickly turned to thoughts of providing a living for the family, too. What started with a 15-member Community Supported Agriculture program on 5 acres has grown to a 75-member CSA with sales at farmer’s markets and to small restaurants, and the recent addition of home delivery as a pivot during COVID-19 pandemic. The farm now focuses on raising pork and eggs as protein sources and has expanded the diversity of produce they offer their customers to over 30 varieties, all grown on their expanded 40-acre plot.
Along the way, Karin went back to school to get her horticulture degree from Oregon State University with the intention of providing gardening advice and classes to anyone interested in learning. Karin feels that there is power in self-reliance and knowing how to grow even a small bit of your own food, regardless of how much space you have, is important. In addition to giving out gardening advice at their farmer’s market stand, Karin now hosts a weekly gardening podcast and is preparing to hold gardening classes online and on the farm.
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