by Conner Forrest
A Louisville restauranteur is planning to open a USDA-certified organic farm.
Ramsi Kamar, of Ramsi’s Café on the World, and his consultant, Patrick Piuma of Urban Design Studio hope to open the farm in 2013. Kamar owns land in Fisherville, where construction has already begun.
Kamar, a native of Jerusalem has owned the land for 11 years, but delayed the project to focus on his restaurant. Now that his children are older, Kamar says it’s time to work on the farm.
“My background, from a third world country, agriculture is a big deal and growing your own food is a big deal and you just don’t think about it because that’s just the way people do things. But, local food is what we grew up eating, organic is the norm.”
The farm, which includes a 10,000 square foot greenhouse, is slated to be wholly certified as USDA organic. Kamar’s restaurant has been buying local and organic food for years and he sees the organic certification of his farm as the most important step in the process.
“The fact that we’re striving to be USDA certified organic and we’re in the process of the certification and would not start without,” he says. “That, by itself is almost mandatory education. The people from USDA are so helpful, and their goal is education.”
People are already working on the farm, and Kamar wants to hire two full-time researchers to continue looking into organic and sustainable practices. He also wants to work with Kentucky Refugee Ministries to have refugee families live and work on the farm.
The restaurant is now buying $3,000 of produce per week and Kamar is hopeful that the farm can offset the cost and environmental impact of the current system. The farm will have local and exotic produce, eggs, fish, and goats for milking. Kamar hopes it will also become an education center for organic practices.