by Amy Moxley, CFSA Member
It’s been almost four years since I first met Sallie, “the Chicken Lady.” It was an overcast and muggy July day in 2011 when I walked the two blocks from my downtown apartment to the Hub City Farmers’ Market. Amidst the checkered tablecloths and collard greens and thick southern accents popped a bold red head of hair over a face graced with a pair of funky glasses and an infectious grin. Learn More
Growing the Local Food Revolution
Twenty Years on the Piedmont Farm Tour
by Stephanie Campbell, Outreach Coordinator
The first Piedmont Farm Tour, 1996
Twenty years ago, Betsy Hitt of Peregrine Farms in Graham, NC had an idea that continues to bear fruit today. She had heard about an Open Studio Artist Tour and thought a farm tour would be a great fundraiser for CFSA. After the very first CFSA Fundraising Committee meeting, Betsy walked across the street to ask Linda Fullwood if Weaver Street Market (WSM), a cooperative grocery store in Carrboro, NC, would co-sponsor the farm tour. With Linda’s enthusiastic “Yes!” WSM was on board as a partner and the Piedmont Farm Tour was born.
by Amy Armbruster, Communications Coordinator
Allen Cockfield grew up on the same farm as his grandfather and mother, but when he left Coward, SC, he had no intention of coming back. He spent 31 years as a police officer in Florida. However, his sisters did not have the same financial security that a pension provided Allen, and he had promised his mother that he would keep the family together.
by Lydia Johnson, CFSA intern
Debbie and Audrey showing off their vibrant Swiss chard in one of their hoophouses.
Photo by Lydia Johnson.
When they bought a home tucked in the back of a residential subdivision about five miles outside of historic Hillsborough, NC, Audrey Lin and Debbie Donnald never imagined that full-time farming would be in their future. Audrey and Debbie moved to their 10-acre property in 2005 to be closer to Debbie’s family. Establishing a garden was a high priority for the avid organic gardeners, but after Audrey lost her job in 2009, they ramped up production, invested in additional infrastructure, and launched Two Chicks Farm .
by Amy Johnson
Spring at Crosscreek Farm brings new life. When the final litter of piglets has been born and the dust has settled, Colette Nester can look around and take stock of what the year has brought. Baby chicks and ducks roam the pastures, learning from their parents how to live on the 50 acres of free-range farmland. When Colette inherited her share of the 250-acre family farmstead from her uncle, Alex Woodruff, she decided she wanted to teach her two sons, Taylor and Matthew, that same lesson. Now, along with her husband, Jonathon Scot, Colette teaches her boys how to work and live sustainably on their farm. Learn More
by Janette Wesley, Slow Food Upstate
It was a bucolic winter day, with cerulean blue skies laced in high white clouds, waves of purple mountains in the background. Gibson Farms’ 180-acres of green rolling hills topped with black and white-faced Angus cattle looked like brides and a groom on a verdant half moon cake.
by Evan Swink, CFSA Intern
Only miles from downtown Hillsborough, NC, a new farm is overcoming the beginning challenges of producing food for their community. Will Cramer, 25, and Sam Hummel, 32, are now in their fourth season as farm operators of Ever Laughter Farm. Their home sits on their original 7 acres, while a recently purchased 10 acres lies six miles away. Overall, they have approximately 4 acres planted in cash crops with another few acres of cover crops for upcoming seasons.
by Natalie Swift
Harry LeBlanc is the heart and soul of Beausol Gardens, an innovative three-acre farm near Pittsboro, North Carolina. After spending a sunny afternoon speaking with Harry and weeding strawberries side-by-side with his four interns, I could barely fathom how this seemingly small piece of land could produce and feed such a substantial number of families and individuals. Harry knows, though, and most importantly: he wants others to learn. Learn More
by Jared Cates, CFSA 2011-2012 intern
A refreshingly cool August breeze whistled by as I pulled up to Walters Unlimited at Carls-Beth Farm in Efland, North Carolina. It was the day before Hurricane Irene arrived, and despite the wind, the view of the farm was incredibly serene: rusty red and sleek black cattle happily grazing on rolling green pastures set between the wooded hills that surround this 400-acre farm. Owner Roland Walters met me at his front workshop, which currently doubles as the farm store, and we took a stroll through his fields. Our first stop was his most recent addition to the farm – the catfish pond. There, large fish began surfacing to feed as Roland threw out pellets and told me about his family business and his path to sustainable farming.