Growing vegetables and fruits with his mom in an urban setting at a young age inspired a farm dream for Rolando Boye. While still in his 20s, Rolando had a growing interest in medicinal herbs and their health properties. Rolando’s learning path led him to develop his ultimate goal of soil health consulting while also growing medicinals and annual vegetable crops for his family on his half-acre farm, Biome Botanicals, in Western N.C.
Two decades later, Rolando has succeeded in his agricultural dream and is a full-fledged farmer by way of many experimental stages, part-time jobs, and newly acquired resources. Rolando says he came to Organic Growers School “to get a better idea of the economics involved in agriculture so that [he] would step into this venture with more realistic expectations. The OGS program forced [him] to run numbers and give an idea of what this enterprise would look like financially.” Rolando used this course “as a reality check, and it served that purpose perfectly.”
Rolando credits two critical takeaways from his participation in the Farm Beginnings® program for his farming achievements: tools to properly plan for his farming enterprise and a network of farmers to support his efforts and serve as essential resources. Pivotal to his training in Farm Beginnings® was the course in Holistic Management. It created a strong foundation for his business infrastructure that drove planning and decision-making—a common theme with other Farm Beginnings® graduates.
All OGS beginning farmers start in a different place. Rolando’s progress was slow because he had the challenges of finding affordable land along with a family he had to support. He was employed off the farm to generate startup resources and continued to build his farm and a market for his product. It took a few years to establish key pieces of the farming infrastructure and produce sellable products. Still, Rolando continued his training and networking with fellow farmers—and his patience paid off. Rolando is now on a trajectory that will dedicate the rest of his professional career to agriculture in a way that will help heal land and soil. Follow Rolando on instagram, @biomebotanicalsfarm, to see more of his farming journey!
What is GivingTuesday?
GivingTuesday launches November 30th! GivingTuesday has become a year-round global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
Organic Growers School is enthusiastically joining this movement with our Give to Grow Fund, we are raising money for scholarships starting now! To serve our mission in accessibility, we want to ensure that anyone interested in learning to farm and garden organically can access our programs, workshops and resources -regardless of ability to pay.
Author: Julie Douglas
Julie is the Marketing & Communications Associate. She is the owner and Clinical herbalist at Wildkrafted Kitchen, a holistic healthcare company in Asheville, NC. Julie is a medicinal herb grower, ethical wildcrafter, educator, and formulator of internal and external medicines. After graduating with an AA focusing on Photography and Ceramic art, Julie went on to pursue their passion for sustainable small-scale agriculture in Washington state where she apprenticed on various organic farms. After discovering their affinity for medicinal herbs, they moved to Asheville to study Holistic Herbalism at the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine. Julie’s main goals are to make alternative healthcare accessible to marginalized communities, decolonizing herbal medicine, and be part of mutual aid networks which strengthen and empower the community.