Organic Farmer Stepping Way Out of My Comfort Zone! #SISwimSearch2021

abalakia

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 🤷🏽‍♀️ 😆

Comments (11)
No. 1-11
Maya Dove
Maya Dove

Wow so cool 😍🙌🏼

Nadia_Udelnova
Nadia_Udelnova

I am very happy for you and your family business! This is a laborious job. I hope that business will only get better in the future and I hope that soon we will get rid of the coronavirus🙏🏻

megespa
megespa

That is so cool! I would love to learn more about farming! 👏🏼

Langlie
Langlie

SKIN!!🙌🏽🙌🏽

Jennifer Lalk
Jennifer Lalk

Abalakia <3 first of all, you are gorgeous! Your eyes have this soft, super feminin look filled with so much love gooosh you look so sweet and adorable.
Second, you are such a bossbabe!! And it is simply amazing that you teach people about all the things you have learned and that you really find joy in doing it!!
I grew up on a farm myself and sometimes it was like a hate-love relationship, I guess you know what I mean, but now, where I am not living there anymore, I just miss it SO MUCH ! It is an honor living there. ENjoy it and take care of your beautiful self and the plants <3

Patricia_Andrea
Patricia_Andrea

This is so dope! I would love to learn more about organic farms. It's a blessing to be blessed during the pandemic 🙏🏾 Congratulations on your feature lovely 💕💕💕

Aubreyana
Aubreyana

This is fantastic!

Mandageier
Mandageier

Love this! ♥️

thelioness
thelioness

You're so beautiful! love this!

Kyrstinrae
Kyrstinrae

So raw, so beautiful

Jannellerose
Jannellerose

Okay may I just say 1 you're beautiful, and 2 I LOVE this post. It's amazing to see another woman of color who is interested in farming and sustainability. I graduated from my college in Agricultural Sales and Services, I was the only person of 2 in my entire group who was African American as well. There's a huge importance. I have always been interested in wildlife, ecology, and agricultural studies. I was offended one time, a customer at my previous job told me that I don't look like the kind of person who would handle snakes and mice, because I was 'black and pretty'. I hadn't been more offended in my life. Hope to connect with you via social media! Sorry for the lengthy post!