Farley Farmers

Oscar Ferreira

Oscar Ferreira was born in the city of Bogotรก, Colombia, but his family is from the state of Santander. His grandparents, aunts and uncles lived in the country and farmed, and he spent lots of time with them there. They cultivated tomatoes, plantains, oranges, passion fruit, mandarins, and raised animals including cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys and ducks. They sold a little bit of everything at a market on Thursdays in a village called Socorro, and on Sundays in Simacota. The other major crop was sugar cane, and his family cultivated it and had a press, called a traipse, as well as the big basins needed for purifying the cane juice down into blocks of brown sugar.

The cane juice was heated and passed through four different basins to get the result of pure crystals of sugar. Oscar came to Madison, WI in 2000 to study English. Originally he did work on a farm near Cross Plains where they cultivated flowers, mostly in greenhouses and high tunnels. In 2006 he began gardening a plot at a community garden and in 2008 began growing at the Farley Center. He now grows a variety of vegetables and herbs on 1 acre there. He officially registered his farm business in 2011, and was one of the founding members of the Spring Rose Growers Cooperative in 2010.