“Good Vibes.” That’s how Henry Melendy explains the farmer’s market atmosphere. It’s an assessment that’s hard to dispute. Strolling from booth to booth, visitors can expect to see friendly faces selling delicious goods that are equal parts innovative and quirky, discovering the ways in which the two are so often closely woven together.
Melendy must have turned some heads upon starting his business, My Yard Farm, in 2007, at a time when his model could only be described as quirky. MYF started out as a garden-building service that could create “edible landscapes.” Eschewing the pristine, uniform (often sprayed) lawns, now largely recognized as hallmark of the housing bubble, Melendy and co-founder Gus Ramage honed in on a different kind of aesthetic – one that was just as practical as it was beautiful.
Specializing in high-protein microgreens, My Yard Farm was in many ways a precursor to wildly successful enterprises sprouting up across Orlando such as weekly AudPark vendor, Fleet Farming. As the business evolved, innovation blossomed from the outlying quirks that likely garnered little more than scoffs seven years ago.
Now interested homeowners, particularly those from the horticulturally diverse Audubon Park go to Melendy & Ramage for consulting on edible landscapes, design and help with the buildout process. Springing from their urban ag success My Yard Farm recently expanded into more traditional agriculture, breaking ground in Apopka to supply farm-to-table restaurants and CSA boxes with a wider range of local produce.
With a larger food selection, they are now launching MyFoodBoxes.com where consumers can purchase complete diet CSA’s including 5 lbs of seasonal produce which would currently include Microgreens, Butter Bibb Lettuce, Strawberry Onion, Strawberries, Heirloom Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Bell Peppers, Florida Citrus, and Herbs. Additionally the boxes can include eggs, grass-fed beef, and dairy.
Just when it seems like the MYF crew couldn’t do any more they put together a robust market table every Monday and remain a cornerstone of the Audubon Park Market. Melendy says it’s a “labor of love,” and it often takes a week to prepare for a successful market outing.
Ultimately, My Yard Farm shows up for the good vibes every week because it’s where fledgling, innovative projects get their footing and small business quirks can evolve into new, widely adopted ways of thinking.
“It’s grass roots, it’s small business growing up, it’s the core of the food community – and then some,” Melendy says. “We’ve had many opportunities, some of the bigger ones, happen by way of simple connections and conversations at the market table – the best place to chat food, hands down.”