Meet the Crew
Owner, Head Farmer, and Operator
Farm Dog and Guest Greeter
Farm Dog and Guest Greeter
I fell in love with plants when I took a botany class in my sophomore year of college. I became completely obsessed. I began spending most of my time learning all I could about their unique world. My mind couldn’t stop thinking about the fascinating relationships they have with other organisms, soil ecology and biology, the flow of nutrients from one thing to another, and “spiritual” farming which not only grew nutrient-dense food but nurtured the land it grew on. They would accomplish this amazing feat by using natural cycles and rhythms that already exist in nature and aimed to mimic nature rather than work against her. Being a biology major, it allowed me to explore all different areas of biology and helped me synthesize different data across different fields for a better understanding of the truly magical world we live in. It is all so similar and yet so vastly different.
Along my journey, I was able to identify some areas in our food system that were not working to protect the consumer from chronic disease and illness. All fruits and vegetables that are shipped, are picked before they are ripe, without the opportunity to develop key enzymes, antioxidants, and vitamins necessary for health. Plants start to atrophy, bleed out, their nutrients once they are harvested. Produce bought from the grocery store is at least 1 - 4 weeks old by the time it makes its way to your plate and has about 0 - 20% its original nutrient density. Earth's soils were being eroded and monocultured, decreasing the diversity and abundance of native soil biology. Harmful pesticides and fungicides were being used that not only destroy the biome of the plant but ultimately our own bodies when consumed. The whole soil aspect of growing plants was taken out of the equation with chemical fertilizers that fed the plant directly and negated the whole soil ecosystem. It seemed like a pretty grim scenario and societies accepted solutions of supplementation and doctors treating symptoms over causes had never sat right with me.
What could I do about this? Where could I make an impact, if even a small one? What could I grow without land? How could I grow enough to keep a steady supply? How could I make a difference?
I knew I could do this. I could educate people about what they were missing, I could grow and produce spiritually and mindfully, I could be part of the solution instead of the problem. That is when Terra Vita Farm was born.
Terra Vita Farm started off as a microgreen business back in 2016. Micros would be a good starting point because I did not own any land, had extra space in my townhome, and was able to start growing a consistent product. Ever since then we have just been growing the farm and adding on different products to diversify ourselves. We started offering edible flowers, I had a small back patio I was able to utilize for flower beds. Shortly after that, we started growing and selling gourmet mushrooms. At this point, I had officially turned my townhome into a studio apartment with a big workspace. The microgreens, flowers, and mushrooms dominated the entire house. It was not long after that we had a small 1/8-acre garden/farm on my best friends’ yard. And finally, here we are, 4 years later, we just started farming a ½ acre field on a 5-acre plot of land, with plenty of room to grow into. We are still growing and diversifying, getting bees for honey, growing more cut flowers, growing more herbs and medicinal, cultivating hemp, and greenhouses for microgreens and seasonal starts.
Our farm uses different methodologies and practices from bio-intensive farming, permaculture, no-till, biodynamic, market gardening, and Korean natural farming. We have deep convictions about spraying or using any kind of biocides, as our goal is to protect our ecosystems and keep them thriving. We are a minimal/no-till farm, meaning the only time we till is when we are breaking ground for the first time on a new plot. We plant permanent hedgerows for our garden guardians, beneficial insects, to reside and flourish. We amend our soils with organic meals and compost, building up our sandy, acidic, soils into beautiful topsoil. We use compost teas and ferments to inoculate our soils with nutrient cycling microbes. We aim to increase our native earthworm and beneficial arthropod populations. We set up birdhouses and bat houses along our property to provide additional housing for our flying friends. We focus on our whole biome, from the micro to macro and everything in between. We want to make sure you are getting the absolute best food that is going to nourish and heal your body, free of any pesticides, picked at its prime, and delivered straight to your hands.
Our goals are always to educate, feed, and empower people. I do not want to just grow food for you, I want to teach you how to do it for yourself. I always say the healthiest food you will ever eat is the food you grew yourself… but buying local, and direct, from your favorite farmers, is a close second.
- Michael Torbett