Operational Farm Design Consultant:
Fusion Farms has been working with Jorge Casas to focus on the day-to-day operations of the CEA Farm. On a hillside near Caguas, about 20 miles south of San Juan’s old town, brothers Pedro and Jorge Casas worked in two giant greenhouses, tending crops of organic mint, chives, rosemary and basil. The farm, Agroponicos Cosecha de PR, was remodeled in 2016, in part through a $280,000 loan from the Farm Service Agency of USDA. Jorge and Pedro were successfully operating one of the largest CEA Greenhouse facilities in PR until it was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Jorge understands what it takes to operate an aquaponics farm and will be helping us recruit interns and new hires and make sure they are trained.
The entrepreneur brothers set up an expanding distribution network, to serve themselves and dozens of other farmers around the island and to help drive the food revolution. With the farming boom come more farm laborer’s, drivers and retail workers, and urban produce markets are opening up across Puerto Rico. One such, O-Mrkt in the San Juan suburbs, opened in April 2016 with the Casas brothers as partners.
“We need to grow food,” said Pedro Casas. “It doesn’t matter how but we need to grow it. If we don’t teach our kids these things you don’t turn that spark on. Education about agriculture was and still is very low on the island, we need to get into the schools.”