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Rosy Tomorrows Heritage Farm picks up a Chrysalis

May 3, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Rosy Tomorrows Heritage Farm believes in raising cattle and other animals the old-fashioned way, when organic food wasn't considered a luxury but the norm.

On Friday, the North Fort Myers farm earned one of the most esteemed awards in Lee County, it earned the 2017 Chrysalis Awards for eco-innovation at the annual Celebration of Business & Tourism Awards Luncheon and Trade Show held Friday at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott.

The event, a joint venture of the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau and the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, honored six local individuals and businesses that have demonstrated innovation, contribution to business and tourism, and sustainability.

Article Photos

The Rosy Tomorrows Heritage Farm team gets together to celebrate after the business won the Chrysalis Award for


And if there's one thing Rosy Tomorrow's has shown, it's sustainability.

Rose O'Dell King, who owns the farm with her husband, Gary, said it was an honor to be nominated but, with the other businesses also in their category, Pure Florida and The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, she thought it would be almost impossible to win.

"We were happy to just be recognized for the work we're doing because we love what we're doing. That's significant," O'Dell King said. "I saw the competitors and thought it was a tough group to compete against."

When they found out they had won (many of those who work at the farm were also there), everyone was thrilled and excited. They got to see a short video of their business on screen, which earned cute "awwws" from the crowd when they saw the baby piggies being fed by their mommy.

"I'm proud of all the work you've put into this. It's really amazing to get all this recognition," Gary told Rose afterward. "And have the members of the community who visit every week. The same outpouring we saw here today we see when people come to the farm."

The Kings, who have lived in the community for about 15 years, opened Rosy Tomorrows in 2012 as a way to show their disapproval of the way most American farms raise food, especially its animals.

"I was not happy about our food system and how they're being raised with hormones and antibiotics. It's not a good way to nourish our bodies," O'Dell King said. "We thought we could do what we wanted in our own way."

O'Dell King was a local food writer and got to know the culinary community and go to know the reality of food quality.

"She understood there were not sources of organically raised, high-quality sustainable food in this market," Gary said.

The livestock on the farm are raised organically and are considered Heritage breeds so they live well in the local environment and are free-range, which makes them sustainable.

"They have found a way that is a complete cycle of life for everyone involved. It is very healthy and maintainable," said Merry Coffman, director of sales of Pure Florida and committee chairperson.

Rosy Tomorrows was one of two businesses nominated from North Fort Myers. Edison Sailing Center was nominated in the sports category.

Other winners included:

* Business Development: Fleamasters Fleamarket

* Cultural Achievement: River District Alliance

* Education: FutureMakers Coalition

* Sports: Perfect Game Baseball, Inc.

* Sales & Marketing: Florida Everblades



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