Meet the Farmers:
Neil’s grandparents on both sides of the family were farmers. His dad’s family had a dairy farm in the Pacific Northwest and mom’s family farmed tree crops in the Central Valley of California. He has vivid memories of both farms and always enjoyed each, and every visit.
Neil never longed to be a farmer after the many years of visits, but having been exposed to these farms, he had an appreciation for that lifestyle. His dad had a garden of seasonal vegetables and flowers, but Neil’s passion as a kid was sports, not gardening or farming.
A defining point in Neil’s life came after two years of junior college. Instead of continuing his college education, he went to work on the farm in Washington and eventually became a dairy farmer. His grandfather helped him get into the dairy business and taught him a lot about farming. Those years were not easy, and Neil always seemed out of any possible comfort zone, but he learned to persevere and grind through every day while constantly gaining experience and confidence. He hung in there for six years, but after being somewhat isolated from a normal social life and working constantly without many breaks, Neil made the decision to sell his dairy cow herd and move back to California.
After leaving the farm, Neil got his degree and eventually got a teaching job in Sacramento. Living in an apartment was not conducive to garden growing, but when he finally lived in a house, he always had a small garden. Tomatoes were always a staple of those gardens.
It wasn’t until Neil bought a house with an acre of land that he expanded his garden. It started small, but once an irrigation system was installed, he was able to grow different kinds of vegetables and more of them. He only grew a summer garden at first but longing for fresh lettuce and spinach he began experimenting with cold crops. Many more kinds of vegetables were added to the fall/winter garden. Neil always grew much more than his family could eat but canning and drying them was always a good option. Most people do not grow a garden so giving produce away was also something he liked doing.
The one persimmon tree on the property inspired him to try his hand at drying persimmons. His mom and sister had been drying them so he decided that he could too. He ate and gave most of the persimmons away and when they became popular, he decided that he could sell them. That led to the planting of a small 16 tree persimmon orchard, and five years later we have a seasonal dried persimmon business and the Harms Farms brand.Chris
Fascinated with growth of the human body, Chris took to developing athletes ever since a young age. With dreams of playing in the big leagues and a relentless work ethic instilled by his father, he fell in love with the weight room as he believed it could give him an edge over his competition. After finishing his athletic career, graduating from Occidental College with a degree in kinesiology, he interned with the Athletic Performance department at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he not only trained some of the best amateur athletes in the world, but realized that being a strength and conditioning coach was what he was destined to do.
Now he serves as a Minor League Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Francisco Giants. He has had prior stints in similar roles at both Occidental and the University of Hawaii. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdown of the 2020 minor league baseball season, he has been able to relocate back to the Farm and create the Muscle Farm.
Chris is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, a Level 1 Sport Performance Coach with Team USA Weightlifting, a Level 1 Precision Nutrition Coach and has attended several other seminars and certifications such as Reflexive Performance Reset Level 1, Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization Exercise Course Level 1, CrossFit Football, ALTIS Shorts Sprints, and Power Athlete Methodology Level 1.