Loyal to Local: Kravey Gardens

Loyal to Local: Kravey Gardens

Editor’s Note: The Riverside Arts Market, now in its 14th year, is a weekly makers and farmers market hosted by Riverside Avondale Preservation on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine. Each week, more than 100 small business owners gather under the canopy of the Fuller Warren Bridge to sell their products to the local community. Keep reading Loyal to Local to learn more about some of the incredible vendors that make RAM a must-visit part of every Saturday.

In a world where sustainability is top of mind for many, interest in locally produced food is skyrocketing. Consumers want to know where their food comes from and how many miles it traveled before reaching their table. Jacksonville residents looking to reduce their food miles often turn to Riverside Arts Market’s (RAM) Farmers Row. Boasting the lowest food miles of the market, with only 0.5 miles from farm to RAM, Kravey Gardens and farmers Dave and Krystal Misola make it easy for eco-friendly Jaxons to find the produce they need.

The inspiration to become an urban farmer struck Dave Misola when he least expected it: during a training run for a long-distance race.

“On this particular run, I felt a divine calling to start taking better care of myself. I knew I had to make healthy changes so that I could be available for my kids in the future,” he said.

Dave Misola smiling with flowers and vegetables on display and Krystal Misola tending to vegetables and people looking over displayed items

For him, this meant not only eating healthier, but learning to grow his own food. After long careers in hospitality and in radiology, he was passionate about food as a form of medicine.

In 2018, the Misolas felt a “divine-inspired desire to move back to Jacksonville” after living away for most of their twenties. They sought land closer to their family where they could also cultivate the land. Living in Jacksonville’s Riverside neighborhood was an obvious choice, as Dave Misola had always hoped to move to the neighborhood someday. Family, community and faith are at the center of Kravey Gardens, even playing into the business’s name; Kravey is a portmanteau of the Misolas’ names (Krystal + Davey).

various vegetables

Kravey Gardens grows a variety of salad and root vegetables, including tomatoes, kale, peppers and eggplant, based on the season. However, it is best known for its microgreens: beets, radish, sunflowers, cilantro and cantaloupe, to name a few. The microgreens are an eye-catching part of the Kravey Gardens booth at the Riverside Arts Market, with customers drawn in by the trays of the small plants. Dave Misola often steps into the role of educator, meeting and speaking with customers who are unfamiliar with microgreens or how to incorporate them into their diet. He is often quick to point out that in addition to having “intense flavor and stunning plate appeal,” the microgreens are “super healthy for you.”

Kravey Gardens produce can be found locally at specialty grocery stores and restaurants like Grassroots Market, Pink Salt, Oaxaca Club and Prospect Five Points, as well as area farmers markets like RAM.

Krystal Misola tending to vegetables
Dave Misola smiling with flowers and vegetables on display

The couple wants to find ways to invite the community into the garden and strives to create a space of hope and encouragement. Starting Nov. 13, Kravey Gardens will launch a CSA Box Subscription program. The 16-week limited subscription will be a seasonal journey, and participants can even elect to handpick their fresh vegetables from the urban farm. Customers looking to secure a space in the CSA Box Subscription, available only to 25 customers, can contact the farm at (904) 878-5955 or [email protected], or follow their Facebook and Instagram pages at @kraveygardens for more information.

Are you interested in becoming a RAM maker? Please visit the Applications tab on RAM’s website for details. Before applying, please note that the market is at capacity for many products and therefore not accepting applications, including: ceramics/pottery, clothes, jewelry, soap/body products, candles, cut flowers, macrame and all food items. If this includes you and you’d still like to share your products with the market, please fill out the Future Vendor Interest Form.

By Chloe Kuhn
Guest Contributor

RAM Market Manager

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