the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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manual and youtube channel on good agricultural practices (GAP)

tomato lady

This manual provides real-world examples of how small, diversified farms can cost-effectively manage food safety risk, and meet the standards set in the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification program. The goal was to see whether it was possible for these types of farms to actually pass a GAP audit, without breaking the bank and without requiring them to change their crop production practices. The intent of this manual is to share tips and strategies learned from this research that other small, diversified produce farms can employ to meet GAP certification requirements imposed by potential buyers. Click HERE to download the manual or HERE for their How-To Youtube channel! 

carolina farm stewardship association




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growing the grower

a short piece about one greenhorn in North Carolina.  The article also mentions an important  N.C.  incubator farm – the Farmer Incubator and Grower Project, which greenhorns in the area might want to check out!

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Growing the Grower at Octopus Garden
by Kellyn Montgomery for Catawba County Extension

A few weeks ago, I talked about the challenges of recruiting and fostering beginning farmers. The startup costs, low profit margins, and demanding nature of farming can make it a tough sale for some young people. But for others, like Caroline Hampton at Octopus Garden, these challenges are overshadowed by a passion for sustainability and healthy communities. Hampton’s determination to be a farmer has taken her down a path common to many aspiring farmers, paved by years of apprenticeships and working as a farmhand. Now she is ready to make the leap to farming on her own, which incubator farms, like the Farmer Incubator and Grower (FIG) project in Valle Crucis, can make possible.

continue reading



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north carolina apprenticeship

Farm in the Beautiful Mountains of North Carolina!


We have a position open for farm work for trade of room and board.  We have a small farm 30 minutes outside of Asheville and we raise sheep for lamb and wool (40 head flock), have a small flock of Heritage poultry and fowl and grow small-scale vegetables and fruit.  We have a cute little camper to live in with electricity, running water, heat and a separate bathroom.  We are asking for 35 hours a week of work in exchange for room, board (fresh food from the farm! and staples) and an education in organic farming.  Learn about intensive rotational grazing with sheep, poultry and fowl, gardening, food preservation, construction, holistic animal health and breeding.  Please email with questions/interest and references.  No pets; no previous farm experience required; must be able to lift 50 lbs.  Contact: Seth and Sharon at


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farmland available – NC

Arden NC (20 minutes SW of Asheville). We are searching for a farmer who is interested in putting our small plot of land into production.  This is land only, no housing; just under 3 acres of flat land w/2 streams (unnamed stream and Avery’s Creek – *might* be useable for irrigation). There is a somewhat serviceable barn on site for basic equipment storage. Continue reading

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north carolina farmland

Farmland available – Arden NC (20 minutes SW of Asheville).

We are searching for a farmer who is interested in putting our small plot of land into production.  This is land only, no housing; just under 3 acres of flat land w/2 streams (unnamed stream and Avery’s Creek – *might* be useable for irrigation). There is a somewhat serviceable barn on site for basic equipment storage. The fields are in sod, and as far as we know, the land has been in pasture for the past several years (or maybe since the house was built in 1925). We are offering this land for free in exchange for a small amount of produce for the house each week (it is a short-term rental) and maintenance of the grounds (weekly grass cutting around the house, mowing other areas on an as-needed basis). We may be able to assist financially with some infrastructure (fencing if needed; purchase of fruit trees, etc.). Looking for a multi-year commitment.  This land is surrounded by the Cliffs at Walnut Creek which may be a potential market for produce buyers or CSA members. Continue reading

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room for rent @ eightfold farm

There is a room for rent at Eightfold Farm with shared kitchen and bath. The farm is located in Pfafftown, NC- twenty minutes from downtown Winston-Salem. Situated on seven acres of former cow pasture, the farm sees great sunrises/sets and a view of downtown Winston-Salem in the distance. Looking for a roommate who is financially responsible, relaxed yet tidy. Not necessary to be involved with the farm. Available January 1st. $250 a month plus utility share.

If you are interested in getting involved with the farm, I am looking for someone motivated, patient, curious, and flexible with an interest in nature, land conservation, and permaculture. Bringing some skills to the table is a huge plus. Personal garden space is available. Continue reading

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so wonderful. alix has major talent.

RAFI is proud to announce our new resource, NC Farmer Voices.  NC Farmer Voices is a collection of stories—in photographs, sound, and multimedia—about farmer entrepreneurs on the frontier of agricultural innovation.

Each farmer featured is a participant in RAFI’s Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Program, which provides cost-share grants to farmers and community groups that are developing new sources of agricultural income. Their stories give a taste of the many creative, sustainable solutions that farmers have found to keep farms thriving in challenging times. The projects include a tool-sharing library for beginning farmers, a farmer who hopes to be the first commercial pomegranate grower in North Carolina, and a prawn farmer collective.

The wisdom of farmers is one of the most powerful tools we have to bring economic growth to North Carolina and to rural communities nationwide.

I invite you to share their stories and to learn more about the landmark program that has helped these farmers, and more than 500 others, find creative new ways to keep family farms thriving.

- Alix Blair
Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund


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business training – making it happen in more places

Carolina Farm Credit is now accepting applications for the third class to participate in an e-learning financial and business planning course.  The Ag Biz Planner curriculum includes financial and business planning, budgeting and other money matters essential to a farm’s success.

Carolina Farm Credit is offering the Farm Credit University on-line program in conjunction with the Farm Credit Associations in North Carolina and Virginia including AgCarolina Financial, Cape Fear Farm Credit, Farm Credit of the Virginias, and Colonial Farm Credit.  Participants will have the opportunity to chat and benchmark with producers from the other associations throughout the program and network at a conference at the conclusion of the program in Raleigh, NC.

Farm Credit’s e-learning program targets young, beginning, small, and minority farmers throughout the state.   Continue reading

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5th Annual Pollinator Day Saturday May 14!

damn do we love debbie roos. She is an extension agent down in North carolina  and a hero in that role. When we talk about ‘service providers’ for farmers she is one who exemplifies that.


Come join the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association for our 5th Annual Pollinator Day Celebration on Saturday, May 14, from 10:00 am til 2:00 pm on the lawn at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro. The purpose of Pollinator Day is to raise public awareness of the importance of the bees and other pollinators that are needed to produce 80 percent of our flowering plants and one third of our food crops. Continue reading

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the ground we walk on – tonight!

Local Histories: The Ground We Walk On
This inaugural exhibition at Chapel Hill’s new temporary art space at 523 E. Franklin Street, Local Histories: The Ground We Walk On, explores Alfredo Jaar’s idea that “place can not be global” Issues of histories and institutions of communities, family, place; commemorative responses; heroes; folklore and buried truths; traditions; memory/nostalgia; longing/loss; progress/development; the intersection of the local and global, and social, legal, political events as they pertain to, influence and construct local histories are addressed

Tonight!  Monday, April 11 @ 7pm:

RAFI-USA: The Rural Advancement Foundation International, Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Project (Joseph Schroeder, Program Director and Alix Blair, Information Specialist) + SAF: Student Action with Farmworkers, 7pm Continue reading


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