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Hidden Gems: Meet Tamer Harpke of Harpke Family Farm

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tamer Harpke.

Hi Tamer, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I have a background in hospitality management and worked in the restaurant and fine wine business for many years. That’s where I learned the importance of relationships and product quality. While I’ve always been a gardener by hobby, my interest in farming started after working the grape harvests in Italy. I began growing microgreens in my backyard and quickly recognized the demand for specialty produce in South Florida.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Zone 10b farming is not easy! Growing year-round through extreme weather and rebuilding after hurricanes is difficult. Managing pests without the use of toxic pesticides is difficult. Harvesting everything to order is difficult, especially in the summer heat. But we’ve persevered and stuck to our principles for nine growing seasons and have many happy customers who value that commitment.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
We are an urban farm in Davie growing specialty produce for chefs and local families year-round. We focus on sustainability and all-natural farming practices, and we prioritize taste and nutrition using only non-treated, non-GMO heirloom seed varieties. Our produce is grown and harvested to order, and we take great pride in the reputation we’ve built based on quality, freshness and customer service.

One of the things that set us apart is that we are foodies first and growers second. I worked in hospitality and fine wine before becoming a farmer. Growing the food is the easy part; the hard part is understanding the market. We are most proud of our loyal weekly support from some of the best chefs and restaurants in South Florida. It’s a huge commitment for a chef to support a local farm in that way, and we’re honored and humbled to be able to serve them. We’re also incredibly proud of our small team that comes to work every day with that same commitment to quality.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
We’re anticipating an even greater influx of locally-minded people and chefs in South Florida. We are seeing chefs come from Europe and other fine dining scenes throughout the country, and they are prioritizing sourcing local and responsibly-produced products. This trend is happening across restaurants, yachts and cruise lines.

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