Field trip to Fat Beet Farm, a sustainable farm and cafe

Field trip to Fat Beet Farm, a sustainable farm and cafe

Madelyn McSunas

Fat Beet farm is a local sustainable farm that offers field trips to students, demonstrating 

the affect farming has on the environment. They use sustainable practices, natural resources, and 

demonstrate how to farm in an environmentally friendly way. Mrs. West teaches AP Human 

Geography at Tarpon Springs High School. She recently took students on a field trip to Fat Beet 

Farm to teach them about sustainable farming. While there, they were also able to enjoy the 

delicious Fat Beet Farm Kitchen and Bakery with organic and natural foods and they were even 

able to pet some of the farm animals. 


The tour focused on the use of sustainable farming practices. The tour guide, Kaitlyn 

Davis, began with a discussion about their biodigester, a machine that takes daily waste from 

their farm and restaurant, transforming it into an organic fertilizer overnight! 

 “All our food waste from our kitchen, and crops are “fed” to the mouth of our digester and are ground into a pulp and mixed with water. The food waste slurry is then pumped into the first tank to begin the digestion process. As anaerobic enzymes break down the food, it bubbles over into the second tank to finish the digestion process. Everything is completely digested within 24 hours. The two 

amazing outputs that we collect from the bio-digester are a nutrient-dense natural fertilizer 

slurry and methane gas,” Kaitlyn stated.  

This process allows them to avoid waste while providing them with free and organic fertilizer.  

In Mrs. West’s Human Geography class, students are learning about sustainability and 

have watched educational videos on the importance of not depleting water resources. Using 

rainwater is beneficial for the environment as it is natural and reoccurring. Fat Beet Farms is a 

local example of a farm that utilizes rainwater. This provides them with free water and benefits 

the environment. 


 Kaitlyn elaborated, “Rain collection is essential for the success of our Farm. 

Our many tanks, totaling over 35,000 gallons, run our multiple grow systems, soil farming, & our; 

our biodigester. Without capturing the rain from our Florida storms, our farm would not be able 

to sustain our water needs.”   


In addition to this, Fat Beet Farm enriches their soil through natural processes.  


Kaitlin Davis told the group, “In Florida, we face unique challenges that are constantly 

growing. The soil is often very sandy, and flooding/puddling is common; small pests and pesky 

insects are abundant as well.” They face these challenges by building up the soil with layers of 

organic materials. “By adding layers of dead plant matter, compost, biodigester slurry, and 

worm castings, we can improve the vitality of the soil. These adjustments add various nutrients 

to our dirt and plants without the use of chemical fertilizers, increase water drainage, and 

attract all the microorganisms we need beneath the surface of our gardens and trees.”  

This is extremely beneficial as it creates a healthy space for plants to grow while at the same time 

protecting the environment.  


Fat Beet Farm also practices coastal conservation, preserving the fragile ecosystem of the 


 Davis stated, “Florida coastline management is vitally important for wildlife habitats, 

water quality, and hurricane resistance, so we protect our shoreline through restoration 

 initiatives. We refuse to use any chemical fertilizers, we always remove invasive plant species, 

and we will introduce measures that reduce the occurrence of red tide.”   


Fat Beet Farm makes it a priority to protect the environment, preserving the natural state of Florida.  

Every student attending the field trip enjoyed themselves and found it very educational.


When asked what she enjoyed about the trip, senior student Lara Segovia said, “I loved being 

able to try the food their café had to offer; it was all really yummy. My friends and I were really 

excited for all the food that we had just learned about, so when it came time to order our 

lunches, we all split up the payment so we all could try a little bit of everything. It was like a cute 

little potluck that we had there at the café. Seeing all the work that went to harvesting the 

ingredients made me appreciate my meal even more.” 


When Lara was asked what she learned on the trip she said, “The trip made me more 

aware of local farmers and some sustainable farming practices within our area. I thought it was 

really cool to see that stuff taking place so near to our school. It made me feel a little more 

connected to our community.”  


The tour included a guided walk through the farm. On the tour, they were able to pet the 

goats and chickens and walk through their hydroponic system. They also let students pot an 

edible flowering plant to take home with them. They were then taken to their restaurant, Fat Beet 

Farm Kitchen and Bakery, which was filled with fresh, organic foods that were prepared from 

ingredients harvested right there on their farm. There were many food options: salads, 

sandwiches, soups, pickles and more. Their food is delicious, and the students 

enjoyed supporting a local business. The farm tour was a super fun and educational field trip. Fat 

Beet Farm works to ensure a healthier environment and strives to educate others of the 

importance behind that. Fat Beet Farms is a rare find, deserving of recognition and a visit 

from all the locals!