Sassakala means “Harvest Time” in ancient Pali language, and it is where we harvest food, thoughts, and a lifestyle we’ve always yearned for….

Lucas FamilyPhotos courtesy of Tina Sargeant Photography

 

Our Story:

Sassakala is the creation of Adrian and Christie Lucas. It is a family run mini farm that they run with the occasional help of their 2 daugthers (ages 5 and 7). The current microfarm is located at their home in Mulberry, Florida. They grow high quality herbs, lettuce, veggies and salad mixes to anyone that shares their passion for high quality, pesticide free, healthy, local food. Both Adrian and Christie are passionate educators that enjoy sharing their passion with others, and want to help other families grow some of their own food

The microfarm idea arose from the many years of trying to grow produce at home. They tried many different methods over 12 years and had the most success with high density, vertical hydroponics. Growing in towers not only reduces the bending and digging typically associated with gardening but the absence of ‘dirt’ means that weeds are virtually eliminated along with soil borne diseases.  A lot of the watering can be automated therefore eliminating the need to be always working on your garden. We have found it to be the perfect way to produce beautiful homegrown food for those with an otherwise hectic family schedule.

 

photo (26)About Adrian      I grew up in England and one of my earliest memories is helping my Grandad in the kitchen garden he created after he retired – he provided large quantities of amazing vegetables for our family. Looking back 30 years I now realize how important that was. We were eating real, clean, locally grown, healthy food before it became trendy.

And although I never developed a taste for Brussels sprouts I am reminded of his garden every time I catch the smell of a tomato plant or pull a carrot out of the ground.  Many years later I tried growing some of my own food. At first I grew herbs on the patio at my apartment, then I got a house and tried adding tomatoes and cucumbers in my tiny back yard. I was mostly unsuccessful throughout this entire period. I never seemed to have enough basil for a recipe when I needed it. A single cherry tomato would bring about a major celebration and jubilation. The knowledge that the tiny red fruit on that plant was going to be the start of a bountiful harvest followed by the sense that maybe I was cut out for this gardening thing after all – I wasn’t and that tiny tomato was about the only one I would be getting that year.  I realized that growing food wasn’t easy but I never gave up and persisted for about 12 years. The my motivation took a turn for the positive soon after the birth of our first child almost size years ago. I was motivated to put fresh, high quality, locally grown food on the table and had found a reserve of determination.I also didn’t like spending large amounts of money at health food stores and farmers markets and committed to figuring it out once more. This is when I started getting serious and this is where Sassakala Micro Farm emerged from.

We believe that we have a responsibility to educate families and children about where real food comes from and to get them involved in growing it, picking it and preparing it is a great way to get them eating it.

Christie- Head ShotAbout Christie Her love for gardening started in her grandmother’s rose garden where she learned to grow seeds in ice trays, and identify backyard birds through her grandmother’s window.  Gardening seemed to skip a generation in our families but education always took a front seat.   Over the years we’ve grown herbs for cooking with and a few veggies here and there but increasingly interested in growing our own food with the birth of our daughters.  Now we volunteer in several urban gardens around town including the one at our daughters’ school. I find the most joy in educating children about how to grow food and how to care for their garden using various gardening techniques including hydroponics, in soil organics, raised beds, and container gardening. 

Come explore and GROW with us!