Possum Hollow Farm
Possum Hollow Farm has been through a number of transformations, just like its owners, Trace Giornelli and Joe Durando. “Even today I’m still astounded at my circumstances,” said Trace. “I am a girl from suburbia, I had a professional job. Then I married a farmer who told me I should start growing flowers.”
Joe is a horticulturalist, and Possum Hollow started as a native plant nursery and persimmon and chestnut orchard in Alachua. When Trace started growing flowers for cut bouquets, they found themselves with lots of extra product. “We came to the farmers market because we were growing more flowers than local restaurants and businesses would take,” Trace said. Eventually, they branched out into herbs and vegetables. Possum Hollow grows a variety of unique annual vegetables, as well as cut flowers, chestnuts, blackberries, pineapples, pears and persimmons.
Moving to a produce operation was a natural extension for Trace and Joe, who take great care to use environmentally sound growing practices on their land. These practices include managing parts of their land for rare and endangered native plants to encourage beneficial insects, using cover crops to increase soil fertility, and never using chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides.
Additionally, Trace served on the Haile Farmers Market Board of Directors for 19 years, seven of which were as the board president. She worked with market staff to increase outreach and visibility of the market. “It’s a beautiful setting with wonderful vendors, and it’s the only market on the west side of Gainesville.” But still, the most rewarding thing about the market for Trace is the customers. “They recharge me every week,” Trace said.