Production and Harvest Stage: Plum Granny Farm
Cheryl and Ray from Plum Granny Farm (PGF) have a large network that supports their business operation and provides numerous resources; this type of network system is the backbone of Ecological Systems Theory (EST). Cheryl and Ray partner with the land grant universities, subscribers of beneficial listservs, participate in the Business of Farming conference, and are members of national agricultural associations. Their extensive distribution network and superior location allows them to sell at four different markets, restaurants, farm-to-table cooperative, and other resources. Some of their challenges in terms of their EST involve negotiating varying market regulations in different counties and finding efficient, quality workers.
Cheryl and Ray demonstrate several characteristics of SE. They are interested in value creation—they want to produce good food in a sustainable and environmentally supportive manner. They believe people are drawn to their value creation; customers travel simply to purchase from them. They address neglected positive externalities by producing organic food and are actively involved in engaging at-risk youth, educating kids about farming and encouraging them to become interested in agriculture, possibly addressing an invisible public good. They believe connecting with community and ensuring that their farm is a part of the community are invaluable to their mission. They participate actively in speaking engagements and community outreach.