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Urban Farm – a concept that will be celebrated at a June 7 dinner – is designed to nourish, educate and inspire a whole community
Charlotte, N.C., (May 3, 2018) – Aldersgate and Carolina Farm Trust are collaborating on a major agricultural and cultural initiative that will continue the Aldersgate-led transformation of Charlotte’s east side. The nonprofit, 6.7-acre Urban Farm at Aldersgate will serve as a food source – and learning lab – for the eastside community and beyond. Both EBT and SNAP will be accepted, ensuring the working (and year-round) farm is truly a resource for all. Plans call for the first seeds to be planted this spring and for the farm to be operational by fall.
Aldersgate’s mission goes beyond serving the elders who call the 231-acre campus home. It includes engaging the community’s neighbors.
Any given farmers market parking lot contains a familiar spattering of bumper stickers: “Buy Local.” “Support Your Local Farmer.” And for Mike Smith of Big Oak Farm in Cabarrus County, none of them are the answer.
“Demand has outpaced supply for at least 10 years now, ever since we started doing farmers markets,” he says. Smith, whose family has been farming on the same land for over 150 years, has the market to sustainably expand his operation, with locavores and farm-to-table restaurants clamoring for his pastured beef and pork.
But rapid development and resulting rising land prices stand in his way– and threaten the area’s local food supply.
“Once you start putting down concrete,” he says, “it’s never going to go back to farmland again.”
“Tucked into the heart of the Carolinas at VanHoy Farms in Harmony, NC is this year’s Carolina Jubilee festival, September 29 and 30. The third annual festival is the project of the Carolina Farm Trust, an organization whose mission is to improve the environmental sustainability of farming communities of the Carolinas. There will be 18 bands over the two days, along with food, drinks, and various other activities all from right in the region.
To truly understand the Carolina Jubilee, it is important to consider the initiatives of the Carolina Farm Trust which began just over two years ago in May of 2015. “I just started talking to the farmers and asking ‘What do you need? Is it a tractor; is it land?’ and then I began making all of these commitments that I had no idea how I would follow through on. So I needed a vehicle for that
The Carolina Farm Trust helps farmers acquire equipment, lease or purchase land, protect farmland from development, and through creative marketing campaigns.
As the state’s leading dairy producer, Iredell County is an ideal location for the Trust’s signature fundraiser, the Carolina Jubilee.
The Jubilee will feature live local music, farm-fresh cuisine, local breweries and more. The event is set for Sept. 29-30 at VanHoy Farms in nearby Harmony.
Zack Wyatt, Carolina Farm Trust and Jubilee founder, said that the organization was looking for an agricultural center that could bridge the divide between rural and urban life.
“There is (no place) better than North Iredell County,” he said. “(The Jubilee) brings the region together to celebrate Carolina agriculture and put a spotlight on Carolina businesses that utilize Carolina farms as part of their supply chains.”
Music For The Ears, And Food Security For The Neighbors Raising Awareness For Carolina Farm Trust Initiative
Charlotte farmer Paul Brewington is featured in the documentary “The Farmer that Feeds Us,” which highlights community efforts to eradicate food insecurity. A fundraiser will be held July 8 in Historic West End with the soul/funk band Groove 8.
How much do Charlotteans think about food?
Carolina Farm Trust is bringing a feast to Historic West End on July 8 to raise awareness and funds for food security. Party with a Purpose is a day party at Mosaic Village designed to engage the community regardless of budget. Local soul/funk band Groove 8 will perform, and local beer will be available from Three Spirits Brewery.
Later that evening, the Wadsworth Estate serves as the backdrop for a feast benefiting Brewington Farms.
Pack your lawn chair and head to the West End this Saturday for a day of fun and food that will help support local farmers.
It’s a great opportunity to meet, greet, and eat while helping to improve food access in the city’s underserved areas.
While development is brisk on the west side of Charlotte, “food deserts” remain. Farmer Paul Brewington is one of the anchor vendors of the newly established Rosa Parks Farmers Market that serves the area. He’s a vocal proponent for the foods that are still hard to obtain for too many residents. “There is a quite a difference between the taste of fresh produce that is grown locally or a hundred-mile radius; a few hours old versus three to seven days old,” he says.
“The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946…Until then, were was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.” -Joel Salatin.
Every year, we loose an alarming amount of land to the continuous development of highways, shopping malls, and other urban developments leaving less and less land for acquisition and expansion for our farmers. If farmers can’t acquire, expand, and grow, but our population still continues to increase, where will we get our food? It will come from overseas, not down the street. It will come from big factory farms that are hazardous to our environment, mistreat our animals, and change the genetic codes of our food… It will… And it is… Wendell Berry states, “To be interested in food, but not our food
‘We Hope To Influence People By Our Actions’: How One North Carolinian Plans To Save Local Farmers In The Carolinas One Farm At A Time
When Zack Wyatt was laid off from his government contracting job in December 2014, he was mad — mad at himself, mad at those in his life, mad at his circumstance. But it didn’t take too long before he said passion got the better of him.
At just 35-years-old years old, Wyatt is a husband, the father of five children and the founder of Carolina Farm Trust, a new nonprofit organization that aims to protect farmland, support farmers in the Carolinas and foster an ecosystem of sustainable living. As Wyatt has said, “agriculture is long-term,” but as North Carolina relinquished hundreds of thousands of acres to urban and suburban development over the past few years, sustainable farming seemed pretty bleak.
Here’s the idea: Hold a music festival, raise money to buy 40+ acres of farmland in Lincolnton and lease it to a farmer. Then, next year, raise more money, buy more land and support more regional farmers. And on … and on …
Will it work? Zack Wyatt thinks so. And he wants to prove it to you.
Wyatt, 35, started the Carolina Farm Trust earlier this year with a mission to “protect farmland and foster an ecosystem of sustainable farming,” according to its website. The group hopes to buy land and lease it back to farmers, giving new farmers access to land and allowing existing farms to expand, and support farmers in any way it can.