Building Community

The rain has settled in here at the farm but held off for the morning as we visited a local farmer in Surry County to learn about his operation and meet several other interested farmers.  It seems we all have the same goals: live and work in a rural setting and grow enough food for ourselves and to turn a small profit to keep the place running.

It was fun to see his chickens and pigs, both of which we plan to add this spring, and hear about how quickly his sausage sells out after “killing” day.  We also learned about his efforts at having some of his fields certified organic and some of the grant programs available.  He has a big greenhouse and rows of collards and cabbage about ready to be harvested.  At the end, we gathered in his living room and looked at seed catalogs and chatted about our lives and our dreams.  The local extension agent also stopped by to say hello and suggested that one of his colleagues does a good program on how to cook healthy with your produce.

We ended by agreeing to get together again soon.  It was exciting to meet others who are a bit further along than we are and know that there is a support group for beginning farmers like us.  I can’t wait to get them over here to see what we are up to.

On the menu for dinner tonight are some of the soybeans that I shelled this weekend.  It is definitely a job that requires better tools than my own hands as they are pretty torn up for the pointy bean pods.  As I was working, the farmer who planted our field came by to harvest the last of the soybeans and Bob handed him our 5-gallon food safe bucket to fill for us.  They were glad to do it and that will be more soybeans than we will eat in a long time so my shucking days are over.  I may feed the last of the dried ones (about half a grocery bag) to the chickens.


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