From LA to the Ozarks, Patrice Gros has found the perfect place to rediscover life on the farm Straddling the Arkansas/Missouri stateline grows a wealth of tomatoes, radishes, lettuce, turnips, potatoes and much more carefully planted in row after row. Each plant is meticulously groomed by Patrice Gros.
Patrice discovered his love for organically grown produce while living in LA working as a stockbroker. He decided to leave the rat race and live out his passion for organic gardening, while providing a healthier lifestyle for his wife, Karen, and their two children, Manon, 15, and Marcello, 13.
After a year and a half of searching 12 states and his native homeland, France, the perfect location for Foundation Farm was selected in 2006 just outside Eureka Springs, Ark.
Patrice is now a full-time farmer for Foundation Farm, managing 5 acres with 24,000 square feet of beds that produce 30,000 to 35,000 pounds of food each year. Foundation Farm has one large and three medium hoop houses that allow Patrice to grow produce year round. “The hoop houses capture heat during the day and as a result the houses can’t cool down fast enough at night, which protects the plants from the cool night air,” commented Patrice.
The plants are started in his nursery before they are planted in the hoop houses.
The number one reason he sees high yields is because, “I keep the soil as undisturbed and as natural as possible. I use organic matter and never till the soil. No chemicals are added allowing me to harness the natural micro-organisms that live in the soil,” explained Patrice.
“There are three steps to follow; organic matter, soil biology and then plant growth,” said Patrice.
In addition to great soil Patrice counts on organic fertilizer, rabbit manure is his first choice, which he applies once a year in January. Row covers also protect against insects, deer, frost and harsh weather.
Patrice sells the majority of his produce at local farmers markets. “Farmers markets are the number one source for connecting to the farming community. Small farmers gather once or twice a week and buying at farmers markets is your chance to support these farms,” stated Patrice.
He also sells his products to local health/whole food stores like Ozark Natural Food in Fayetteville, Ark., and to local restaurants.
One unique aspect to Foundation Farm is that it acts as a teaching facility. Every year, March through October, not only people from the Ozarks but also people from around the world are invited to get hands-on training at Foundation Farm through a series of classes taught by Patrice. Foundation Farm is a registered farm with the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF).
Students who are truly interested in farming will live on the farm for eight months training three days a week for a total of 15 hours a week in the field. Students also learn marketing and display techniques by helping sell the produce they grow at farmers markets.
Patrice considers him self to be a food advocate and is eager to share the knowledge he has learned over the years. “I’m so passionate about farming because I am passionate about eating,” concluded Patrice.


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