LAVEEN, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Who knew that dipping broccoli into a packet of ranch dressing that fits in your pocket would be so popular?
A Laveen farmer is garnering millions of views on TikTok. Eric Amadio, the owner of Amadio Ranch, is using his newfound fame to show the world what it takes to get food to your plate.
In the video that started it all, Amadio and his "pocket ranch" struck a chord with millions. "I actually put it up on TikTok and it didn't do a whole lot for a week or ten days," he said. "And then one day it just exploded."
While he's embraced social media to boost business for Amadio Ranch, he was initially reluctant about TikTok. "I mean I have marriage proposals, I have probably at least 10,000 people who have told me that they love me," Amadio said.
He never thought it would have this effect. "The ones that I absolutely love are the people who are saying you know, I have been having a really tough time, and I'm in a bad spot in life, and there's something about your video that really kind of made me feel better today," Amadio added.
Amadio bought the Laveen farm 11 years ago as a way to show his kids how to raise crops. "It's not good enough for them to read books about it," he said. "They have to see it in action." With about an acre and a half of land and 250 fruit trees, he's using his online popularity for education. "So many people didn't have any idea this is what a broccoli plant looks like."
His TikTok account features lessons in food literacy. "One of the things I think people don't realize from the time that you sow and germinate a seed, it might be 80, 90 days before it's actually fruitful," Amadio said. "It's a ton of work and if you don't know how food is grown, you can't appreciate what's on your plate."