Preparing for Resiliency at Aloha Redland Farm
Aloha Redland Farm in Homestead, Florida, is the shared vision of farmer-spouses Alicia del Aguila and Martina Gonzalez. The women-led project grows produce using holistic practices and invites the community to gather for events and retreats at the farm.
“Aloha Redland focuses on growing vegetables in an environmentally harmonious way and also integrates the creative arts via concerts, an art walk, and other workshops,” Alicia says. “We respond to whatever the needs of our gardens may be with creativity and gratitude to work with nature. And we remember to constantly cultivate biodiversity.”
The south Florida farm contains fruit trees that thrive during the tropical raining season, a vegetable garden and a food forest. In this subtropical climate, the farm can grow bananas and pineapples at the same time as broccoli and tomatoes. However, farming in a hurricane zone has many risks. Hurricane season brings the constant threat of flooding and erosion, as well as destruction to the property and trees.
In the face of extreme weather and other climate risks, Alicia and Martina set impressive infrastructure goals, including a plan to plant the entire five-acre property with bio-diverse crops.
The farm received a Brighter Future Fund grant to support this vision. American Farmland Trust, with the help of Tillamook Creamery, launched the Brighter Future Fund to support farmers in the face of pressing challenges like climate change and COVID-19.
Revamping the whole-property irrigation system, to water trees and crops in the dry season,
is one of their priorities. Their mature fruit trees also need pruning, and they need equipment to prepare the trees for hurricane seasons. They will also invest in a new produce wash station that won’t blow away during a hurricane.
“We respond to whatever the needs of our gardens may be with creativity and gratitude to work with nature. And we remember to constantly cultivate biodiversity.”
In only three years, the farm’s CSA membership has grown from 15 to 75 members. Investing in resiliency for extreme weather conditions will help Aloha Redland Farm continue to expand.
As they make their life on the land together, they want their community to have access to healthy produce and to enjoy learning about the foods that grow seasonally around them.
“Local and seasonal produce helps save fossil fuels from being burned to bring non-seasonal produce into the supermarkets, which is why knowing your farmer is important,” Alicia says.
Brighter Future Fund
Informed by farmers, built on experience, and inspired by you. AFT’s Brighter Future Fund carries forward AFT's commitment to addressing inequalities in our agricultural system by providing grants up to $5,000 to BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and/or women farmers nationwide. Help us support another round of inspiring farmers by donating to the fund today! 100% of all funds raised will go directly to farmers to strengthen farm resilience, enhance farm viability, and improve access to land.