Have you ever wondered how healthy the food that we eat is? It is a question on Alvaro Alvarez’s mind, and the motivation behind his goal of learning how to grow and provide the healthiest produce to his community. To make this goal a reality, he is studying organic agriculture at ALBA, the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association, and working through the Farmer Education Course (PEPA). Studying soil health, crop planning, business planning and marketing, and organic production methods will support Alvarez in launching his own organic farm and growing healthy produce on healthy land.
Alvarez’s professional development at ALBA is informing how he will run his organic farm. Developing awareness on a range of topics like cover crops, nutrient cycling, crop rotation, composting, microorganisms, and minerals in the soil is key to building healthy soil for the healthy veggies he wants to provide. Alvarez seeks to plant 15 acres of vegetables, starting with celery, kale, radishes, spinach, and beans, and apply his new knowledge to create a flourishing farm. Says Alvarez, “One day, I want to have my own agricultural company and to be able to provide the healthiest food for my community. To achieve this, it is best to manage crops in a more traditional way, growing healthier produce, and of course, growing without applying pesticides that destroy the organic matter of the soil. In such a way, I hope to continue learning so that I can reach my goal, and in the future, plant 15 acres of vegetables.”
With the support of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmers grant, Alvaro Alvarez is successfully progressing through the PEPA program at ALBA. Classroom learning paired with hands-on training is providing Alvarez with practical growing experience, preparing him to set up a successful organic vegetable farm in the future. The CCOF Foundation congratulates and wishes the best to Alvaro Alvarez with his farming studies in 2022!
Find out more about the Future Organic Farmers grant fund from the CCOF Foundation on the website!