This feature on Farmer Ramesh is part of Loudoun Economic Development’s award-winning Farmer Trading Card series, spotlighting farmers as heroes to our community. For more information on the Farmer Trading Card 2023 starting lineup, please visit Loudoun Farms.
Farmer Ramesh Seetaram grew up farming, but almost everything is different in Loudoun County compared to his native Trinidad.
“I’m from the islands,” he said, referring to the southernmost point in the West Indies, off the northeast coast of Venezuela. “My Dad had 10 acres of cocoa, coffee, banana, pineapple and oranges.”
Located just 10 degrees north of the equator, Trinidad is known for its tropical climate, year-round growing season, and fertile, volcanic soil. Farming tends to be traditional in Trinidad, using more labor-intensive methods, but reaping the bounty of a year-round harvest.
After moving to the U.S., Farmer Ramesh moved to Paeonian Springs and rekindled the connection to his native culture through food. This brought him back to farming.
“I started growing ethnic varietals from back home. I started doing veggies. I started getting back into plants,” he said. “I grew to love it more and more.”
What started as a hobby quickly grew into a nine-month farming operation.
“We are growers of award winning perennials, annuals hanging baskets, herbs, veggies, tropical plants. We are open right around Spring and run mid-April to December,” he said.
In the summertime, the farm averages 50-75 types of produce, ranging from tomatoes to zucchini, squash and gourds to melons and more, specializing in varietals popular in ethnic recipes.
“In the Fall, we have pumpkins of different sizes, different shapes and different colors. We grow over 10,000 mums, including 20 different varietals and colors,” he continued. “In the winter, we have Christmas trees, decor, handmade wreaths, and poinsettias that we grow right here.”
To keep up with demand, Farmer Ramesh has expanded his operations at Northern Virginia Wholesale Growers multiple times since opening, and currently supports an on-site farm market, a seasonal Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription, and an online marketplace of seasonally available produce.
Only half of the food ever makes it paying customers, which is part of his vision for the farm.
“Fifty percent of what we grow here, we give back to the food pantries,” he said. And it has been an essential service over the last few years, as the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic ripples have caused families living near the edge to slip into need.
Feeding America estimated that Loudoun’s food-insecurity rate was about 4%, which amounts to more than 16,000 hungry people in the county. Of those, half are ineligible for federal assistance, creating an opportunity for Farmer Ramesh to change lives at any income level.
“I love giving back to the community,” he said. “That’s something that I’m proud to do.”
Northern Virginia Wholesale Growers is also happy to collaborate on farm fresh fundraisers, fulfilling the needs of churches, school groups and garden clubs in the area.
To learn more about Farmer Ramesh and how you can support his efforts, please visit the Northern Virginia Wholesale Growers website.
Thinking of starting or expanding your business in Loudoun County? We are a full-service economic development organization, dedicated to your #LoudounPossible business success. Working with us is like adding a team of no-cost specialists to your team, with expertise in the following areas:
- Site selection and real estate searches;
- Workforce development and pipeline support;
- Process and permit navigation;
- Fast-track and financial incentives;
- Marketing and communications outreach;
- Networking, resource and industry introductions.
Contact John Magistro today to launch your #LoudounPossible journey.