The 154th Real Farmer Care recipient is Tasha Trujillo of Palm Pike @palmpike in Miami, FL. Tasha writes, “My name is Tasha (she/her) and I operate Palm Pike, a pollinator-centric cut flower farm located in Miami, Florida. I actually entered the agriculture world via beekeeping with my partner Jovany. We did it as a hobby and quickly saw a huge need for sustainable beekeepers, so we decided to start Palm Pike!
While beekeeping, I was also experimenting with growing flowers in my garden for my bees. The more flowers I grew, the more intrigued I became with the idea of farming. After 3 years of running the bee business, I actually became extremely burnt out and began to struggle with my mental health. Once the pandemic started, I decided something had to change so I finally took the leap and did a small 300 sq ft flower trial at our old apiary. You could say the rest is history. I felt completely alive growing flowers and decided I needed to take a step back from beekeeping to focus on it solely. It was a scary decision but I am so glad I did it because flower farming has been such a beautiful career! Now I grow flowers on 3,000 sq ft at our family plant nursery.
Farming has been an amazing way to connect with the land and my ancestors. My family in Cuba were actually sugar cane farmers but had to give that up when they migrated to the United States. Now as a first-generation farmer, it has been difficult to build my farm business but with the help of the community, I'm slowly growing. Since I had such a hard time with my mental health while beekeeping, I've made it a point to try to balance work/life as much as possible by setting boundaries with myself and taking weekends off as much as I can. I think self care for farmers is so important and really overlooked. This program is such beautiful way to make sure famers are taking care of themselves and showing them how important they are!”