Organic Farmer Stepping Way Out of My Comfort Zone! #SISwimSearch2021
I am a fourth generation, African American farmer of Balakian Farms in California's Central Valley (me pictured in our greenhouse). I teach entrepreneurship at our local community college. Farmers come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. As cliche as it sounds, the pandemic has brought about many blessings as it has difficulties. This juxtaposition has allowed new discoveries into the realm of farming. I’ve discovered that I really enjoy taking care of farm sales, a new facet for me this year. It is great to have someone wanting what you and others have created. I am also so thankful for our employees (we have some of the best!) who are like our family.
It has been really nice to spend more time learning this year, even through some of the struggles that come with that.
What I miss (am going to miss): the social aspect, but also being on campus this Fall. I love teaching at college, and there is something so special about being on campus that I am going to really miss.
What I am hopeful about: that inequalities are finally being spoken about and brought to life. For years, this is something that I have been passionate about learning about especially at the structural level within communities. Fresno is an example of that, it is evident in the city blueprint. It’s been a long time coming, and we will see what the future holds. Until then, it has and is a pleasure to continue to supply all of our customers with some amazing produce! That was a jumble of messages, but 🤷🏽♀️ 😆