2 Oct, 2017

Carolina Farm Trust Filling Gaps In The Local Food Movement Through Carolina Jubilee Music Festival

By |2020-09-09T10:47:23+00:00October 2, 2017|Carolina Jubilee, News|0 Comments

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.”

Zack Wyatt, a Northern Virginia farm kid turned Charlotte transplant, began noticing the Carolinas’ disappearing farmland after reading local blogger Lisa Leake’s book “100 Days of Real Food,” which details her family’s conversion to locally grown whole foods. He remembers the farm-rich region of his youth getting developed “in a matter of a decade,” and sees areas like Ballantyne and Huntersville heading briskly in the same direction. So in the short space of a few months he founded the Carolina Farm Trust, rounded up a dizzying list of local partners and organized the Carolina Jubilee.

The two-day music festival at VanHoy Farms in Harmony, NC, Oct. 16 and 17 aims to raise the funds to purchase 40 acres of farmland for Big Oak Farm to lease back at an affordable rate– bringing more local food to the tables that are waiting for it, and saving more pasture from concrete.  

It’s a lofty goal and Wyatt knows it– so does Smith, who hung up on Wyatt […]

12 Aug, 2017

Carolina Jubilee Is A Lot More Than A Music Festival

By |2020-09-09T10:47:23+00:00August 12, 2017|Carolina Jubilee, News|0 Comments

“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 and that’s when the paperwork got started. I just backed into it,” said founder Zack Wyatt.

Founder of Carolina Farm Trust and Carolina Jubilee, Zack Wyatt

The objectives of the Carolina Farm Trust are focused on the farmer. “At the end of the day it is getting the farmers what they need to reach their goals. Not mine or anyone else’s,” said Wyatt. “We are strategically investing in a community that we need to survive. This is not charity. There will be a point in time where a global food system will not work and if we’re not supporting our regional food system and the regions around us then we’re going to feel the repercussions of that. I want people to know that they control our destiny.”

In the beginning, not only was the Farm Trust focused on creating sustainable success for regional farms but […]

16 Jul, 2017

Carolina Jubilee Supports Carolina Farm Trust

By |2020-09-09T10:47:23+00:00July 16, 2017|Carolina Jubilee, News|0 Comments

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.”

Wyatt is thankful for the consistency and support of the Jubilee’s numerous vendors, including small business and agriculture-based vendors, vineyards, and breweries such as Primal Brewery and Fullsteam Brewery.

Heirloom Restaurant, a farm-to-table restaurant that features local vegetables, fruit, seafood, meat and beverages, will provide food for the event, featuring Chef Barlowe, along with Chef Harrison Littell, Chef Regan Stachler, and Chef Njathi Kabui. The food theme will revolve around an open fire.

A wide variety of performers will play at the Jubilee, including Friday-night’s headliner, Susto. and Saturday-night headliner Acoustic Syndicate. Other performers include Ellis Dyson and the Shambles, Shiloh Hill and the Chicken Coop Willaye Trio.

The Jubilee also will feature a 5K, 10K and Kids Fun Run, sponsored by Iredell Health System. Races are held at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Tent and RV camping options will also be offered for the full duration of the festival. Attendee wishing to camp in an RV should contact VanHoy Farms.

This year, proceeds from the Jubilee will support the operating budget of the Carolina Farm Trust.

“We have […]

24 Oct, 2015

Carolina Jubilee 2015

By |2020-09-09T10:47:24+00:00October 24, 2015|Carolina Jubilee, News|0 Comments

“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 production is clearly absurd.”

In our fast pace world, where convenience of the poorest quality foods are at our finger tips, we have developed into a society of overweight, disease ridden populous. We are becoming sick and tired. And we are becoming sick and tired of being sick and tired….  So what do we do? As individuals, this is a BIG question. We are mighty small in the BIG WORLD of politics and factory farming.

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” -Ghandi

It all starts at the bottom of the hill, not the top. It is the little steps that lead to big steps. It is the […]

22 Sep, 2015

Carolina Jubilee Is A Music Festival, A Beer Festival, A Wine Festival, A Farming Festival

By |2020-09-09T10:50:14+00:00September 22, 2015|Carolina Jubilee, News|0 Comments

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.

The money for that, Wyatt hopes, will come from Carolina Jubilee, a music festival Oct. 16-17 at VanHoy Farms in Harmony, about an hour north of uptown Charlotte.


Click here to watch video

In addition to bands like Mipso, Tacoma Narrows, Songs of the Fall, and Sinners and Saints, the festival will feature food and drinks from local farmers and only North or South Carolina-based companies. And 100 percent of the profits will go to the Carolina Farm Land Trust.

“It’s a music festival, and a beer festival, a wine festival, a farming festival,” said Wyatt, who lives in Cornelius. “It’ll be pure, raw and it will be genuine. …

“Where we get our money is extremely important to me. … We want to make Carolina Jubilee a Coachella, a Bonnaroo, that is the goal, so we can generate a […]

8 Sep, 2015

Do You Care About Local Sustainability? Introducing The Carolina Jubilee Farm Celebration

By |2020-09-09T10:47:24+00:00September 8, 2015|Carolina Jubilee, News|0 Comments

This adventure started for me at the beginning of the year. I got laid off from my job, a new start-up breaking into the wonderful world of government contracting. As with most people who get laid off, time suddenly slows down, the blinders come off and the reevaluation of your life starts to begin.

I grew up in a farming community. I loved and hated it. We had a pretty large garden, butchered a few hogs, got our eggs from our own chickens. My dad hunted and we got beef from the neighbors’ cattle farms. This is not to say we didn’t go to the grocery store, but when we did, it was to supplement what we did at home. I have fond memories of how I grew up and the only part I truly didn’t like as a kid was the work but those memories fade and only the good ones remain.

As a father of five, I struggle with now living in a development in suburbia. My kids never have to go far to find a friend to play with, the chores are limited to a few rooms and it seems like there is always something to do. But there is something missing.

You learn a lot living in a farm community: about life and death, what hard work looks like, how to problem solve, how to best utilize limited resources, how important community is.

I never envisioned being involved in a nonprofit let alone starting one. I knew that if I ever was to be affiliated, it would have to be about a great cause that I knew a lot about and could actually make change. One thing that I knew from the very beginning […]

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