Childhood: I always loved being and playing outside. My parents always had a garden, but becoming a farmer was not something in my plan.
Plans Change: I got an associates degree in sustainable agriculture and started working at community farms in the Raleigh area, such as the Interfaith Food Shuttle Farm and the Well Fed community garden. I started Chickadee Farms in 2016.
On the Farm: I produce vegetables that are Certified Naturally Grown. It’s a community-based certification where another farmer comes out and inspects me. It’s a more cost-effective way to verify I am actually using practices that don’t use synthetic chemicals.
I am switching over some of my farming practices right now and coming back to my urban farm roots. Instead of growing on large acreage, I’m converting to a small, intensive no-till farm. It adds a lot of benefits to the soil. In the type of agriculture I am in, the soil is the most important thing.
At The Market: I really want to have high quality vegetables that look and taste really good. I always want my customers to be satisfied. We’ll be selling a lot of veggies, herbs and cut flower bouquets.
Holly Springs has a really great base of people that come every week — it could be raining, stormy, cold. The regulars of a market are what help vendors stay in business. Spending $20 at a farmers market is huge. If people really do want to see local food, that’s where they need to put their money.
Big Picture: Farming is one of the things that I can do in my life that helps the most people — to give them food that I know is healthy and grown with sustainable practices.