Intro Slide
Downtown Innovators
Travis Malloy
Q: You had transitioned from one life to another. Can you talk about that a little?

Q: You had transitioned from one life to another. Can you talk about that?

TRAVIS: Fifteen years ago, I was spending my days doing electrical engineering work for a big corporation. Spending nights playing in punk bands, hanging out in bars all the time. The futility of working in the corporation hit me first. It was kind of a little pointless and depressing. So over the years, a good friend of mine, Ross and I worked at the same place and played in bands, and we would have conversations about the state of the world and what can be done about it. He focused more on the technological side of it and I started to really get into the local food side of things - contributing to the betterment of society in general.

Travis on the farm
Q: You started with Trail Bale, which you still operate today. Can you tell us a little about that?
Q: You started with Trail Bale, which you still operate today. Can you tell us a little about that?

TRAVIS: I started Trail Bale very loosely. I've been doing many community gardens in Temple Terrace and started the Temple Terrance Farmers Market. I wanted to take it further, so I bought eight acres just outside of town - a five-minute drive from my house.

I took some of that corporate money and put the down payment on it, figuring I’d do something, but I didn't have big plans for it. I knew I wanted to raise animals. So I got twenty hens and a couple of goats, and it started like that. My good friend Dave moved into the house on the property. He and I went back and forth, coming up with what we wanted to do. We started with meat, chickens, fresh eggs and now have hogs. We have turkeys during the holidays.

Travis with chickens
Q: How did you transition into Meacham Farms?
Q: How did you transition into Meacham Farms?

TRAVIS: I was approached by some friends who knew about this project that the Tampa Housing Authority wanted. I reached out to Joe D'Alessio and Kristin Beauvois immediately because I knew they are excellent small acreage intensive farmers who are young and energetic and looking for a big project to get started on. So we teamed up and put this together. Our proposal worked with getting it built.

The Tampa Housing authority wanted some sort of farm in this two-acre spot downtown. But they wanted it to be a for-profit thing, not a community garden or anything like that. They wanted it to be sustainable. We've only been open for a few months now, and it's going in the right direction. I’m really happy with us coming together.

Travis & Joe
Q: What are your thoughts about having Meacham farm in downtown Tampa?
Q: What are your thoughts about having Meacham farm in downtown Tampa?

TRAVIS: Having a farm in downtown Tampa checks off all the boxes for me. Having super-local food that is accessible to our local neighborhood is what it's all about. Cramming in a high production farm in a small, unused area is really neat.

There's an awareness and education component to this. I think that's a huge step into getting people more aware of where local organic food comes from. They can also see first-hand what it takes to run a high-production farm.

And we get to play a part in the community just by being here. We're going to have classes and neighborhood composting. In our event space, we can have other farmers come and sell their things through our store. We may eventually have a market so it can be this little agriculture hub for the area. It couldn't be a more convenient location for everybody. You can walk, bike, skateboard, or drive here. We have a skate park directly behind us so that you can make a day of it.

American Gothic: Tampa Edition
Q: Can you talk about the area you are in?
Q: Can you talk about the area you are in?

TRAVIS: We are next to a public housing mixed in with market-rate apartments - the Encore community sold out immediately. So you have college kids, families, and everything across the spectrum. This neighborhood seems to be really coming together. The main bus terminal is a few blocks from us which is ideal. There are also two senior buildings.

Travis in front of barn
Q: You have addressed a social issue here as well - affordability.
Q: You have addressed a social issue here as well - affordability.

TRAVIS: We have a program that doubles the value of snap dollars—basically, the old food stamp programs. So we've been doing that with other farmers' markets for years and brought it here. So anyone who comes in with their EBT card can get stuff essentially for half price.

We are working on a plan to have a work share program and implementing volunteer days. However, we need to be realistic about how much it actually costs to run this place, so spots will be limited. This urban farm is labor-intensive, and we earn our living working the land.

Our overall mission is to create a sustainable working farm that provides fresh organic food and provides education and community outreach.

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Urban Innovators: Travis Malloy (Meacham Farm)

READ BELOW

Q: You had transitioned from one life to another. Can you talk about that?

TRAVIS: Fifteen years ago, I was spending my days doing electrical engineering work for a big corporation. Spending nights playing in punk bands, hanging out in bars all the time. The futility of working in the corporation hit me first. It was kind of a little pointless and depressing. So over the years, a good friend of mine, Ross and I worked at the same place and played in bands. We would have conversations about the state of the world and what can be done about it. He focused more on the technological side of it and I started to really get into the local food side of things – contributing to the betterment of society in general.

Q: You started with Trail Bale, which you still operate today. Can you tell us a little about that?

TRAVIS: I started Trail Bale very loosely. I’ve been doing many community gardens in Temple Terrace and started the Temple Terrance Farmers Market. I wanted to take it further, so I bought eight acres just outside of town – a five-minute drive from my house.

I took some of that corporate money and put the down payment on it, figuring I’d do something, but I didn’t have big plans for it. I knew I wanted to raise animals. So I got twenty hens and a couple of goats, and it started like that. My good friend Dave moved into the house on the property. He and I went back and forth, coming up with what we wanted to do. We started with meat, chickens, fresh eggs and now have hogs. We have turkeys during the holidays.

Q: How did you transition into Meacham Farms?

TRAVIS: I was approached by some friends who knew about this project that the Tampa Housing Authority wanted. I reached out to Joe D’Alessio and Kristin Beauvois immediately because I knew they are excellent small acreage intensive farmers who are young and energetic and looking for a big project to get started on. So we teamed up and put this together. Our proposal worked with getting it built.

The Tampa Housing authority wanted some sort of farm in this two-acre spot downtown. But they wanted it to be a for-profit thing, not a community garden or anything like that. They wanted it to be sustainable. We’ve only been open for a few months now, and it’s going in the right direction. I’m really happy with us coming together.

Q: What are your thoughts about having Meacham farm in downtown Tampa?

TRAVIS: Having a farm in downtown Tampa checks off all the boxes for me. Having super-local food that is accessible to our local neighborhood is what it’s all about. Cramming in a high production farm in a small, unused area is really neat.

There’s an awareness and education component to this. I think that’s a huge step into getting people more aware of where local organic food comes from. They can also see first-hand what it takes to run a high-production farm.

And we get to play a part in the community just by being here. We’re going to have classes and neighborhood composting. In our event space, we can have other farmers come and sell their things through our store. We may eventually have a market so it can be this little agriculture hub for the area. It couldn’t be a more convenient location for everybody. You can walk, bike, skateboard, or drive here. We have a skate park directly behind us so that you can make a day of it.

Q: Can you talk about the area you are in?

TRAVIS: We are next to a public housing mixed in with market-rate apartments – the Encore community sold out immediately. So you have college kids, families, and everything across the spectrum. This neighborhood seems to be really coming together. The main bus terminal is a few blocks from us which is ideal. There are also two senior buildings.

Q: YOU HAVE ADDRESSED A SOCIAL ISSUE HERE AS WELL – AFFORDABILITY.

TRAVIS: We have a program that doubles the value of snap dollars—basically, the old food stamp programs. So we’ve been doing that with other farmers’ markets for years and brought it here. So anyone who comes in with their EBT card can get stuff essentially for half price.

We are working on a plan to have a work share program and implementing volunteer days. However, we need to be realistic about how much it actually costs to run this place, so spots will be limited. This urban farm is labor-intensive, and we earn our living working the land.

Our overall mission is to create a sustainable working farm that provides fresh organic food and provides education and community outreach.

NEXT UP:

USF Innovators: Dr. Lori Collins (DHHC USF)

USF Innovators: Dr. Lori Collins (DHHC USF)

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?DR. LORI COLLINS: I am an archaeologist who specializes in using spatial technologies, mapping, and 3D imaging. I have been with the University of South Florida for over 15 years with my best friend, husband, and colleague...