MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — One farm in Manatee County is redefining what it means to feed people while saving money with a new way of growing crops.

While some restaurants may throw away their food at the end of the night for one farm, they are turning those leftover scraps into food for their crops.

What You Need To Know

  • A farm is using restaurant waste to grow crops

  • Zach Rasmussen uses crab and sugar in his mixture

  • He says that the plants really react well to the treatment

Zach Rasmussen sprays crops with a special mixture.

“I love that farming is a reminder that we are a piece of nature,” he said.

Farming is his passion. He’s done it for almost a decade and is the farm manager at Gamble Creek Farms. Rasmussen is spraying lettuce and other crops with something you can’t buy from stores because he makes it himself right here on the farm. He started this process a year and a half ago.

“This is a Korean natural farming technique,” he said.

Rasmussen discovered the technique during his travels around the world. It involves using fish and crabs.

“The sugar put the crab in osmotic pressure and the osmotic pressure excretes the nutrition we are looking for out of this crab and into this brown sugar solution,” he said.

He calls the brown syrupy liquid “fish and crab amino acid.”

“We are a farm that doesn’t use pesticides or any chemicals, so this is a way to feed our plants with full viable nutrition,” he said.

As he pours the mixture, he says, “We got the backpack all set up and we are going to spray the vegetables,” he said.

He says crops have flourished thanks to his special sauce.

“You will notice some heavier flowers and fruit sets. You will notice more abundance of vegetables sometimes. Our zucchinis double the very next day,” he said.

Rasmussen says they’ve also saved money by not buying fertilizer. But he says he really does it because he loves finding new ways to recycle what the earth gives us to provide food.

“I want to really strengthen the ecology on this farm, really strengthen the biodiversity which gives us that resilience of a natural forest,” he said.

He also loves creating something to offer people to enrich their lives just like he did with the crops.

“And to just provide great quality food to the local community,” he said.

The goal is to help the earth while also providing nutrition for both the crops and people.