The Gentrys were chefs in Palm Beach County when they discovered a strong market for organically raised, locally sourced produce. They moved to family farmland in central Florida and began farming.
The Gentrys started a small Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. A CSA is a program in which community members pledge monetary support to the farm and become "share-holders", and reap benefits by getting lower prices on produce, and share risks of potential downturns. The program has grown from 60 members last year, to 125 this year.
Jessica put a stand on the farm property where she sells produce, and Bountiful Farms sells their products at a variety of local farmers markets in central Florida.
With an operation including everything from Chinese Asian greens to strawberries, and everything in between growing on their three acres or in their greenhouse, they are a growing operation.
Soon after opening their market on property, customers requested healthy foods and apothecary herbs to help with health issues they were facing. Bountiful Farms met the demand with products including a diaper rash cream, and teas for ailments such as a sore throat or trouble sleeping, that a clinical herbalist developed.
The clinical herbalist taught Jessica about herbal treatments, teas, chapsticks, and more. Now these products, a variety of "clean" foods, and other locally sourced products from community members are available at the Bountiful Farms stand
Jessica describes Bountiful Farms as, an evolution "from just vegetables to a health crusade."
As the Gentrys continue to look into the future, they see a market of people who appreciate organic and local foods, but would rather conveniently packaged items that they can easily prepare and eat quickly. The Gentrys are addressing this market by investigating prepackaged options for their products, as well as starting a food truck operation.
If you are in Okahumpka, or see Bountiful Farms at a farmers market, be sure to stop by and see their fresh produce for yourself.