Where to begin? No time like the present…I am sitting on my stoop in North Park, surrounded by my potted plants, reflecting on how I got to this point. I would like to say that it was from watching my mamma grow her gardens, but I would be remiss to exclude the influence of my childhood best friend’s mom, Mrs. Hyndings. She always made us pull weeds before we could eat — dang! That grilled cheese with BBQ sauce is still a top 10 bite for me.
Life changed for us all with COVID-19. I had been working on the front lines of hospitality for 19 years when suddenly my position at an urban winery was put on hold. Armed with a generous severance package of two bottles of wine per week until the dust settled, I took this as a sign that it was time to make my move.
I fell in love with nature as a philosophy student at CSU Chico. The town of Chico, with its waterways and seemingly endless park, is one of the most peaceful and serene places in California. That love of nature is how I found myself living in Galway, Ireland when I was 21, and to booking a one-way ticket to Maui at 25. I fell in love there, and eventually landed in San Francisco.
A single tomato was the catalyst. I decided to throw a cherry tomato in a pot and it miraculously blossomed. One thing led to another, and I started volunteering at the SF Botanical Gardens, learning from seasoned gardeners and exploring my passion for locally grown food.
I applied for the extremely competitive UC Master Gardener program. After a six-month application process, I was accepted, attended orientation, and purchased a library’s worth of books. However, as is often a theme in my life, I had an opportunity to move to pursue something exciting… and I took it. That leap of faith landed me in my hometown of San Diego, California, to help open a restaurant for an old friend.
Mourning my UC Master Gardener ambitions, I started a planter box garden for the restaurant and began my search to pursue professional farming. My father passed away this year after a long struggle with Parkinson’s. I started this company on his birthday to cultivate the seeds he planted within me. The lessons he taught are foundational to our company.
Never quit. Keep going. You got this.
Because Farmer Murph is all of us.
Be kind. Be strong.