Farmer Profile: Porfirio Perez

Meet Porfirio, farmer at Big River Farms

Tell us about your farm.

This is my last year at Big River Farms. I would just say my farm existed. It was really good. I made it this way – I grew my business because of what they taught me. I learned about the business of farming. I met a lot of people. I learned a lot. 

What is your relationship to organic food and farming?

Organic is the best – natural is so good. Where I am from in Guatemala, we survived on the land. When I was eight or ten years old, I started to work the land to help my family grow corn, beans, coffee… I grew up with it, and I’m still doing it. You can grow great produce with just the nutrients in the soil. 

And farming really keeps me going – it’s like a hobby that gives me life.

What makes you different from other farmers? 

We have a different way of working with the plants. We know how to make them grow. They need to be taken care of – if you don’t work with the land, it won’t give you anything back.

Would you share a favorite farming memory?

I like farming because it makes me feel like I’m back, living in my own country. I get to be outside, see the plants grow – it gives me new ideas, to watch how plants grow. 

I love it too because I get to meet and learn from so many different people. We can learn from each other, too – I know how to farm, but everyone here has different criticisms, different ideas. It’s so good to listen to the ideas. 

What challenges have you faced as an ‘emerging’ farmer? 

Mostly my job. I ask my boss to let me work close to the city so that I can make it to the farm with at least three hours to work in the evening, and my boss tells me, “you’re crazy! Why do you go to work after work?” 

Porfirio with his wife and daughter

What has your experience been with BRF so far? 

You can buy materials here, sell your products here – it’s the best because I don’t lose so much time running around. No animals can get in with the deer fence, and with the irrigation my vegetables can grow safely. There’s nowhere else like Big River Farms.

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