Joi (Joey) Melillo (mah-LIL-oh) is the crazy plant lady who runs MHF. The farm is named for Jo’s maternal great-grandmother, Norah, who traveled from Scotland to America as a teen with her eleven year old sister Alice after WW1. Norah settled down in Long Beach, CA with her young family in a sweet little neighborhood on Magnolia Avenue. Unfortunately, Norah passed away at a young age before even turning 34 years old. She was a strong, tenacious woman who fought to make a new, thriving life here in America. Jo named the farm MAGNOLIA in homage to her great-grandmother Norah who lived on Magnolia Avenue… may her memory be forever rooted in our farm.
Jo has been in the organic gardening + farming culture since she was a tot (see pics on MHF Instagram’s page). Her mom made scratch organic baby food from their organic home garden she tended with Jo’s dad… who was very interested in biodynamic farming to produce healthy, living soils. Jo grew up in a household who grew & stored a lot of their own delicious food, believed in leaving things better than when found, and most importantly, believed everyone needs to work WITH & FOR the protection, preservation, conservation + regeneration of the land we steward no matter how big or small. Each person makes a huge difference.
Of course the farm is not run by one person, Jo’s whole family is always around working, doing, advising and managing whatever needs to be done. You’ll see them at one point or another probably at the farmers markets. Just a little, fun tidbit…. Mike, Jo’s other half, likes to share his affinity for homemade, herb-infused whipped cream plopped right on top of freshly baked cookies or brownies. TRY IT!
CLICK HERE to learn more about the fam behind the farm. Be forewarned, we’re a little unconventional + a tiny bit crazy.