Dirty Girl Farming: Woman-Owned Business Takes Root in Tampa Bay

Every Sunday at the Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, live music thumps, as vendors line the dirt road. Community farms surround the stands, where local crafters sell their products and fresh produce. Dirty Girl Farming is a staple at this farmers market, where they sell microgreens.

Created by co-founders Rosalyne Follman and Katy Sierra, Dirty Girl Farming is a local microgreen distributor, a rare niche of farming inherently gaining popularity. The brand reflects the couple’s natural and organic lifestyle, while focusing on female empowerment and entrepreneurship.

“Urban and backyard farming is really picking up in the community and throughout the whole country,” Sierra said, “I would really like to see Dirty Girl Farming as a household name in those regards.”

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What distinguishes microgreens from conventional produce farming is the high nutritional punch packed into the tiny sprouts. Delicate carpets of green and purple microgreens coat the couple’s 24-by-24 ft. greenhouse. They are harvested every ten days, ensuring full nutritional value.
Although microgreens are packed with nutrients, chefs may be more interested in how they look on the plate rather than their dietary worth. Dirty Girl Farming steadily distributes to Bamboozle Café, which is located in downtown Tampa. The café offers health-oriented Vietnamese cuisine and the microgreen’s delicate, colorful sprouts add a touch of beauty to every dish.

“We would like to be a national produce supplier at some point,” Sierra said, “I would like to see Dirty Girl Farming as a community establishment in every town across the country.”

The business is still relatively new to the Tampa Bay area, as it was created in May of 2016. With heavy promoting, countless cold calls, and door-to-door marketing, the couple is now selling out at each farmers market they attend, with their top three best sellers being spicy salad, red streak mizuna mustard, and sunflower.

Follman and Sierra created Dirty Girl Farming in order to gain economic freedom, saying they had no desire to be a part of corporate America. They support small businesses and encourage the public to shop locally.

“It was a liberating experience,” Sierra said, “We are big encouragers of women starting their own businesses, as it acts as a form of economic empowerment.”

Since creating their company, the couple has reached out to fellow women entrepreneurs in the Tampa Bay area. Posh Beauty Boutique, founded by two estheticians, is a luxury skincare company aimed at supplying natural products to the community. Dirty Girl Farming makes it a priority to network with other women entrepreneurs in order to strengthen the community bond.

“We just want women to know that nothing is impossible or out of reach,” Follman said, “If there’s any message we want to convey to the public it is that you don’t need a man to run a successful business and Dirty Girl Farming is proof of that.”

 

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