Ground Floor Farm is the first urban farm in Stuart, established in 2014 on one lovely acre abutting Frazier Creek. We grow fresh market produce like salad mix, bunching greens, heirloom tomatoes, fresh herbs, and tropical fruits. As an urban farm, we focus on growing food where the short distance from farm to customer makes a real difference.
In south Florida, our main growing season runs October through May. The hot summer weather makes it difficult to grow many of the traditional fruits and vegetables most customers are used to. But as we grow, it is our mission to educate our customer base and offer more regionally and seasonally appropriate crops to extend the season.
Our farm comprises three distinct growing areas: a mounded bed soil garden, a hydroponic garden, and a meandering orchard featuring tropical and native fruiting and flowering plants.
We are committed to growing good fresh food in sustainable and ecologically-minded ways. We build fertility and soil health using crop rotation, cover crops, efficient drip irrigation, and lots of compost. We fertilize our soil with natural materials like fish emulsion, composted poultry litter, and worm castings. Our hydroponic garden is fertilized with high-quality commercial hydroponic nutrients.
We battle pests and diseases with predatory insects, natural deterrents, physical barriers, regular scouting and culling, and a lot of squishing by hand. When these practices are insufficient, we use only organic-approved materials for pest control.
NO synthetic chemical pesticides, insecticides, or fungicides are ever used on our farm.
Community Supported Agriculture is a long practiced local farming program, originally conceived as a way to support small farms and protect farmers from some of the difficulties of growing and marketing food.
CSA works like a subscription service. Community members purchase "shares" in the farm at the outset of the growing season and receive regular allotments of farm-fresh food from that farmer throughout the season. This benefits the farmer by giving her the cash she needs for seeds, tools, supplies, and labor upfront when her costs are highest. The community is benefited by preserving local fresh food options.
We believe that sustainable agriculture is a force for good. We believe that farming can benefit our environment. We believe that food is the foundation of culture. We believe in food as medicine. We believe in the need for more alternatives to industrial food. We believe that food production can and should take place in urban settings.
Urban farms have the unique opportunity to engage communities right where they are. Urban farming makes food production conspicuous and offers neighbors the opportunity to see what goes into raising food before it winds up at the grocery. Kids, especially, can develop a new relationship with food by seeing and participating in how it's grown.
Ecologically, urban farms help preserve green spaces, reduce stormwater runoff, reduce heat island effect, and support wildlife like birds, bees, and butterflies.
We are committed to natural and sustainable growing practices. We grow appropriate crops in season. We prioritize heirloom varieties when possible. We source our seed from cooperatively- and employee-owned companies, and save some seed ourselves. Some, but not all, of our seed is certified organic. None of our seed is GMO.
We rely on only organic fertilizers for our soil garden. We compost our own farm waste as well as waste from local restaurants and return the nutrients to our soil. Our hydroponic garden is fine-tuned to use water and fertilizer conservatively. We use a commercial hydroponic nutrient sourced locally to grow healthy crops.
Under no circumstances do we use any chemical pesticides on our farm. The only materials we use to treat pests and disease are approved for organic agriculture. We manage pests generally through cultural practices and use sprays as a last resort.