When the cameras stop flashing, professional models Valentina Dimitrova & Kristian Vasilev take on an unconventional role. Aside from their modeling careers in NYC, the two are also the co-founders and co-owners of Pura Vida Organic Farm, based in their homeland, Bulgaria. Their passion for organic produce and their interest in living a healthy lifestyle inspired the couple to fulfill their lifelong dream of starting a produce company of their own.
Dimitrova and Vasilev in their greenhouse in Bulgaria during the winter season.
The idea for this business was born three years ago. The couple only had a small garden in Dimitrova’s village, so their first step toward creating the organic farm of their dreams was to purchase more land. Over the next two years, they bought 20 acres worth of small plots, the majority of which were unmaintained vineyards. Today, they are in the process of clearing the land to prepare it for farming, however, the only way for them to cultivate the land is to do it manually. “It’s a dirty and difficult job, and nobody wants to do it for us. So, Kris is basically doing it on his own,” Dimitrova said.
The couple’s biggest tip for creating a healthy farm or garden is to always take care of the soil. “[The soil] is the most important part of any organic farm,” Dimitrova said. “If the soil is not fertile, if it’s acidic or it’s depleted of some nutrients, if it has too much sand or too much clay – you will not have high quality vegetables.” Dimitrova encourages people to grow their own food; even a small patch of land can grow quality produce. The two plan to expand their farmland, and to cater to health food stores in the near future.
“There is no better feeling than creating real, vibrant food — sharing it, and making people happy,” — Valentina Dimitrova