Monticello farmers adjust business strategies to handle inflation, rising gas prices

Inflation hits Florida farmers
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 3:06 PM EDT
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MONTICELLO, Fla. (WCTV) - The owners of Rocky Soil Family Farm in Monticello said they are adjusting their business strategy and weekly schedule, so they can still turn a profit as the price to fill up their car and tractors has doubled.

Kiona and Chris Wagner said while there’s no choice but to fuel the tractor for harvest, they are trying to cut costs in getting the product from field to market.

“We are trying to run errands and deliver on the same days, so it’s not every single day we are hitting the road, because every mile we drive is costly and it affects our bottom line,” Kiona Wagner said.

They’ve cut back by only delivering to the Red Hills Online Farmers Market on Thursday and the Tallahassee Farmers Market on Saturdays.

In December 2021, they also branched into baking and selling sourdough bread. Chris Wagner said now they bake in bulk to keep costs down.

“We make a lot more than we used to. We used to bring 40 to 50 loaves of sourdough bread to the Tallahassee Farmers Market, and now it’s between 100 to 130,″ Chris Wagner said.

Kiona Wagner said they can battle through inflation, thanks to a customer base that appreciates farmers, sustainability and knowing where their food comes from.

“The pandemic pushed our customers into those outlets, so we have a lot of new people that make the farmers market an experience, and they love it and we love them and it’s a fun group of community,” Kiona Wanger said.

In the fall, Rocky Soil Family Farms plans to expand to offering food services, with brunch and dinner farm-to-table experiences.

If you would like to support local farmers, visit the Red Hills Small Farm Alliance Online Market website or visit the Tallahassee Farmers Market on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon at 2904 Kerry Forest Parkway.

Rocky Soil Family Farm grows 30 varieties of vegetables each season on three acres of land in Monticello. You can learn more about the farm on its website.

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