Monday, August 23, 2010

Celo, NC: Ben McCann and Cedar Johnson, Goldfinch Gardens

We sat on Cedar and Ben's back porch looking at the goldeny purple mountains and they told us about their new small farm. Their property is nestled in an intentional community that Cedar was raised in; many of the community decisions are made by consensus here. There is a small but abundant plot that we can see and a greenhouse further away. The main outlet that Ben and Cedar are working on is an online market where anyone can log onto the site and see what produce is available, then place an order. That way Ben and Cedar can harvest exactly what they need, and the customer gets exactly what they want instead of a CSA box setup where you may get eggplant when you really want radishes. They are an excellent example of creative farmers finding a market so they can do what they love and their customers are pleased. Like many farmers, they mentioned the immense difficulty of starting a farm and investing in property; luckily, coming from this community, they have the support of their neighbors, family, and history.

A surprise perk is that they both attended Evergreen State College and Cedar completed the same Eco-Ag program as Trav, but a few years earlier!

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