Published: Jan 02, 2013 3:01 PM EST
Updated: Jan 03, 2013 5:33 PM EST

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- T.J. Cannamela has a passion: to grow and sell fresh vegetables, fruits, and other food items, to people in Lee County. He's doing that, competing against the convenience and prices of big box grocery stores.

"I know this is a throwback to a by-gone era, to the time when you had a lot of these roadside farms. But I want to grow local and hire local people," said Cannamela.

He owns Buckingham Farms on Orange River, east of I-75.  His place offers fresh jams, jellies and honey, and even bakes  bread fresh, most days.

"That's what we are growing and selling:  freshness. Our lettuce will last 2 to 3 weeks in your refrigerator. The stuff on the stores shelves may go bad in 2 to three days," Cannamela told WINK News.

It's a tough business. In recent months, two roadside farms near Cannamela's place, have closed.  

"You won't get rich doing this, and you won't retire! But I love it, and God has put his hand on this farm" said Cannamela. "I know I have the passion to make it work, and I would put our quality and atmosphere up against anyone."