Looking back over this last year, I have really come to realize all the progress I have made as a human, farmer, and business owner. Two years ago I never would have guessed that I would be standing in the spot I am today.

When I was growing up all I ever wanted to do was become a professional snowboarder. Chasing endless powder days and throwing myself down long rails and big jumps. But as I got older and my body started to become less keen on these impacts I began to question the legitimacy of the pursuit of that career. A buddy soon after introduced me to permaculture and it all began there. After completing a 3 month internship and PDC certificate course I was on to the next thing. At the time, I was really interested in the cannabis industry and wanted to have my own grown and see if I could make some money at it. After a long summer and fall with a lot of shortcomings, I found it wasn't for me after all. So I moved back home to Reno and began working at the Great Basin Food Co-op. This is where things all really changed for me. I got to meet people who were so passionate about local food and farmers and I really began to wonder why. Why is it so important that we have local farmers that are paid well and can make a good living off providing essential products to the community? Something inside of me just clicked and I knew I had to get involved in small scale, organic farming. After much research, urban farming became the most viable option due to limited capital and land access. And so in the fall of 2017, Ital Farms was born with nothing but an empty garden lot, a passion to grow, and a lot of mistakes to learn.

As the 2018 season has come and gone, I sit here on March 3, 2019 with so much learned knowledge and even more of a desire to get back out there and start growing again. LIfe has taken me on so many ups and downs, struggles and triumphs, but nothing has fulfilled my life the way farming does. When I get to talk to people who eat my products, it fills my soul with the fuel to keep going and to never give up. At 22 years old I can only imagine the joy and fulfillment I will receive in this lifetime being able to do what I do. And it wouldn't be possible without the love and support of everyone who believes in small scale, organic agriculture, and its power to change lives and the way we live on this planet. I am beyond thrilled to get back out into the soil and start producing crops again.

Until next time,

Brenton Aikin

Founder & Lead Grower at Ital Farms

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