Superfood Farm is a 19-acre farm in Culpeper, VA This sustainable family farm is largely run by the eldest child of the Ayad family, Raymon Ayad, who gave us a tour of the farm on a warm summer afternoon.
The Ayad family immigrated from Egypt to the United States eleven years ago. seeking better opportunities for their family. In Egypt, the Ayads lived in a rural farming community where they subsided on a family farm, and grew vegetables like tomatoes and fruits like citrus trees. After settling in Virginia for five years, Superfoods Farm was established in 2011. Pictured below is Raymon’s mother and two farm hands tending to squash.
At Superfoods Farm, the focus remains on the harvest and sustaining the natural ecology of the land. As you walk through the rows upon rows of vegetation, you will see native plants growing alongside cash crops. Sprouting up among spring onions and lettuces are lush wildflowers. In part, this is due to the high volume of production at this small family operation. The other part is intention: to attract natural pollinators and yield more fruit. Located along the edge of the property in the shade of the tree barriers, are five hives for bee-keeping.
Superfoods Farm is working to go through the certification process of USDA organic certification. Despite not yet having purchased the label, SuperFoods Farm actively practices organic and sustainable farming methods. Methods include organic crop cultivation, natural pesticides, and natural methods of enhancing soil, such as crop rotation, cover crops and composting. The farm is GAP-certified (Good Agriculture Practices), which is a highly regarded, highly involved voluntary audit for agriculture food-safety practices that is approved by the USDA.
4P Foods began a partnership with Superfoods Farm this summer. We are excited to work with the Ayad family to coordinate fall crops for our food hub members and link the quality produce at Superfoods to our market in the DC metropolitan area. Currently, Superfoods main business is Whole Foods Markets in the DMV area. The farm also sells directly to a handful of local restaurants, and sells small plantings, mums, and herbs at the local farmer’s markets.
On the main 19-are property are 30 different tomato crops, including 12 varieties of cherry tomatoes (Raymon’s favorite veggie!). They grow a large variety of specialty produce, including cabbage, lettuces, spring onions, squash, cucumber, eggplant, kale, purple cauliflower, watermelon, celery, and herbs.
Superfoods Farm is a growing, fertile operation. To meet market demands, the Ayad family recently expanded the small farm by purchasing a 70-acre lot two miles down the street. At the time of our farm tour, the just purchased fields had already been prepped and planted with watermelons to be sold late-summer.
Raymon is the eldest of three children and has the best English Language skills in the family. For this reason, he is the point of contact for all written business correspondences and marketplace interactions for the family business. In addition to helping with farm operations, Raymon attends the local high school and is currently applying to medical school to become a doctor. When asked what Raymon is most proud of as a farmer, he replied, “being able to make a living and sustain his family.”