PFM recently interviewed vendor Shaunté Schaffer to learn more about the Schaffers and their family farm.
Prescott Farmers Market: Tell us about your family and where you’re from. Have you always lived in Arizona?
Shaunté Schaffer: Joseph was born in Skull Valley, being one of many siblings. He took on a love of plants, farming and seed saving at a very young age, which progressed into being a horticulturist for a local nursery, owning a landscaping company for several years and then into farming full time.
I’m a third generation Prescottonian. After college I moved to Palm Springs and then to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Dental Office Management. After missing “home” I moved back to Prescott and shortly after returning home I met Joseph. After getting married, I decided to change careers to be able to raise our family on a farm.
We have three children- Tristan (11), Elsa (4) and Joseph Robert (3).
What do you sell at your booth?
We offer homegrown produce. We pride ourselves in growing a wide variety of produce using organic farming methods. We will occasionally have eggs from our free range, nest run chickens.
How long have you had your farm, your business, and how did it all begin?
Schaffer Farms has only been an LLC since the beginning of 2019, but the farm has been a work in progress for the last 15 years. Over his adult years, Joseph has felt unfulfilled with previous careers, due to the overall destruction of the land. He bought property in Paulden with the goal of being able to farm it for personal use and leave the land better than he found it by using regenerative farming methods. He decided to make the jump into making a career out of farming this last year to be able to spend more time with his family.
What is it like raising a family on the farm?
It’s wonderful and rewarding but can also have its difficulties, like when our daughter likes to walk through the rows of Okra and bite the tops off of them.
Tell us about how you get ready for the market.
A cup of coffee, followed by a checklist of harvesting, washing, weighing, and bundling, all while pretending nothing is going to go wrong and you’re going to get to bed early. It’s a balance between getting it done and teaching and involving the children with how everything works.
What’s special about your business?
This is a hard question to answer because we do not know all the passions of the other farmers, we’re not trying to be better or more special than the others, we just truly love what we’re doing. We thrive from knowing that people really enjoy what were growing.
What are your plans for the future?
Future plans are to continue to develop the farm to become carbon neutral–adding a few more greenhouses, potentially putting another acre or two under farming, to enrich the soil, to branch out beyond just the farmers market. We’re looking into providing to restaurants and possibly CSA options. To be able to have a stable financial return to raise a family. We’re not looking to expand to the point where we don’t enjoy farming, because this is a passion we love doing.
Do you vend at any other markets?
We currently only vend at both PFM markets, Prescott and Chino Valley.
How can we find you on social media?