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A Farmer Who Shares Your Values
She was speaking of upending her comfortable life in Texas to move back to the family farm to honor her mother’s promise to her grandmother. She has learned this lesson, however, many times over in second-career farming with her husband, Marshall.
Pat and Marshall are committed to sustainable and organic farming even when those values are tested. Pat’s background in public school administration had taught her how to do research and continually learn, how to access resources and collaborate with others, and how to plan and accomplish action steps toward her goals. All skills she has now applied to farming.
Pat was thrilled to receive funding to build a high tunnel on the farm to improve production and extend the seasons. Growing in a high tunnel is not so easy she learned. After dealing with the problems of building the tunnel, including what to do about an 18 degree incline on the site and how to prepare the soil, Pat and Marshall planted seven beds of tomatoes. The whole crop failed.
Pat called CFSA and was connected to free consulting services to solve their production challenges in high tunnels. CFSA staff spent time discussing Pat’s challenges, directing her to effective resources, developing a new production plan, and even spent a day on the farm teaching Pat and Marshall how to use the high tunnel, staking tomatoes and demonstrating growing tips.
This year Pat and Marshall achieved successful production in the high tunnel, growing peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. They have been profitable this spring, summer, and early fall.
Hurricane Matthew arrived in October and tested their values yet again. Lyons and Wade Farm experienced flooding and high winds with downed trees, power loss and damages to the high tunnel. Farmers are nothing if not persistent, however. Pat and Marshall are assessing damages, accessing resources, and beginning the work of rebuilding and replanting.
Pat’s mother and her grandmother, a sharecropper on this land three generations ago, would be so pleased and proud to know that the family is continuing a legacy of farming in Hoke County.
CFSA is currently working with Pat and Marshall on their Organic Transition plan and we look forward to adding another USDA Certified Organic farm in the Carolinas soon.
Farmers like Pat and Marshall can’t do it without you.
Your gift today will provide the training and support another new farmer needs to succeed and provide us ALL with the food we need in the Carolinas.
Please give generously.
You can donate online at carolinafarmstewards.org/give
or mail a check to CFSA, PO Box 448, Pittsboro, NC 27312
or call us at 919-542-2402
Read more about Pat and Marshall, Lyons and Wade Farm, on the CFSA blog, The Sweet Potato.
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