Monday, December 23, 2013

Mike Marini's Love For Family, Farming and Life

There is no doubt Mike Marini is happiest being with his family on the farm, and he wants his three children to experience the same work and family values he did growing up on the farm. Mike Marini is in action many mornings hours before sunrise, and continues to work until dusk, which can be a fifteen plus hour day, but every step he takes he realizes how fortunate he is to be able to provide his children with the same amazing childhood he experienced living on the farm.  His children are at home on the farm following their dad from field to field and greenhouse to greenhouse, learning the Marini farm culture along the way.
We recently did a short interview with Mike Marini so people could learn about what farm life and raising a family on the farm meant to Mike. It is clear Mike is in awe with the beauty and abundance of farm life and providing a good quality of life to those around him.

What is the best thing a customer has ever said about you?

At a recent children’s birthday party at the farm, a mother said “I watch how you interact with your kids and can see you were meant to be a dad.”

What three words describe you best?

Hard-working, motivated and passionate

What things would you never change about your job?

Nothing! I am doing what I love to do and am happy doing it every day all year round! I learn from the environmental, social and economic challenges local farming presents and know I can always improve upon the quality of the produce I am producing. I am driven by the opportunity to continue to create a better system.

What motto do you operate by?

I learned early on from my father, Mario, that nothing should ever get me down. Every day brings new challenges, new achievements and new successes, all of which I learn a lot from. Taking on new challenges makes us stronger, more confident and more aware of alternative management practices.

What is your favorite vegetable to plant?
Field house and greenhouse tomatoes as they are important with everything we do.

What is your favorite event to do when you are not farming?

When I am not farming, I would rather be with my kids and family on vacation at Disney World. I love creating new family memories.

Walk us through a typical day at the farm…

The business is so seasonal and is always changing, so no two days are alike. New challenges and new accomplishments happen every day, but I love the thrill of making things better. Some days, like when I have market deliveries, I am up at 4:00 AM, and in the summer I am in the fields at 6:00 AM and stay until dusk. The work is never done and new goals are set at the start of every day.

What motivates you?

I love seeing the results with a fresh crop of corn and tomatoes and stand back and see what I have accomplished. I see the seeds grow into crops and see the clients enjoying the beauty and bounty of the produce we bring to market. It is rewarding seeing the excitement generated over the first corn of the season or the first picked field house tomatoes. I like seeing people better informed as to the importance of fresh food in their life.

If someone met you, they probably would never guess…

I have three kids and never ate vegetables until I was in my 20’s.

What is your #1 pet peeve?

When I see jobs that are half done. I like to see projects getting completed and see consistent progress being made. It drives me crazy when I am surrounded by jobs that are half finished.

When you are not working you are most likely to…

go to the gym and do cardio and weight lifting. I just love working out and getting stronger, so being healthy and fit are big priorities of mine.

What is one thing everyone can do to create a better, stronger food system?

Support the local food movement. It helps our food security. It helps our own health. It helps our local businesses, restaurants, farmers and community.

What is your favorite vegetable?

Asparagus cooked all different ways.

What is the best thing about farming?

No two days are ever the same and the best thing about farming, is that it is always changing. There is no time to ever be bored with my job.

What has been your biggest achievement?

My biggest achievement has been keeping the third-generation family farm going. I have had to be creative and develop ways to control the costs of production and adopted a diverse farming culture. It is a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but the rewards are staring at me each and every day.

There is no doubt Marini feels he has the best job in the world and is passionate about connecting us all to the abundance and beauty of farming. Learning from his dad's work philosophy to "take things as they come and roll with the punches, enables him to embrace each day with confidence, passion and commitment. As Marini knows, the skies can turn dark, but the earth has immense power to renew itself, to heal, and to give abundantly, and this more than anything is what gets him out of bed before the sun every day.

Written by Lightning Consulting