Farm Family Profile

This week, we'll take a break from high lighting crew members and introduce you to the farm family; Holly, Andy, Bea and Corva.

Holly and Andy started dating in the spring of 2009 and immediately started farming together. At the time, Andy was already a vendor at the Watauga County Farmer's Market, while simultaneously working to weatherize houses for WAMY Community Action. Holly was working full-time as a carpenter and milking a couple of goats in her spare time. They farmed part-time together for three seasons, before signing a mortgage on the land that would become Against the Grain in 2012. Holly was the full time farmer for the first three seasons of the farm's incarnation, until Bea was born in October of 2014. At that time, the farm faced a big decision: support Andy to make the leap to full-time farmer or change the trajectory of the farm to more of a homestead. Andy made the leap and the farm hasn't looked back!

Andy sees farming as a conversation between the Earth and people who inhabit it. Just like in any conversation, there is much to be learned. He views good food as a basic human right, and as sustenance that should feed the body, soul and spirit. Much of the food that is available for humans to eat in modern culture might provide enough calories to support physical bodies but doesn't necessarily provide the nutrients required to nurture a whole human being. By engaging in farming practices that feed the soil, the human soul is fed. Andy's favorite time of day on the farm is in the evening, just before the sun sets because he says, "it's a great time to reflect on the day and connect with the farm."

Originally, Holly was attracted to farming because the work is primarily outside and self-directed. Over time, she has come to understand farming as a form of radical affirmation and resistance. By engaging in a solution to our current unsustainable food system, Holly hopes ATG can become a model for how agriculture can work. By saying "yes" to regenerative farming practices and local food economies, she hopes to see food access increase in her community. Holly's favorite place on the farm is up in the turkey pasture. It offers a great perspective of the cultivated fields and the farm's place among the surrounding landscape.

As Bea, and now Corva, have entered the farm family, many fresh insights have been revealed. Bea, as many children her age, asks a lot of good questions. She keeps her parents and crew members on their toes! She has good suggestions for solutions to challenges that arise on the farm and she really enjoys helping pack the CSA boxes each week. With the addition of Corva, the farm family is reminded to slow down and savor the moment. Corva loves to play in the mud and eat cucumbers! She is starting to take her first few steps and helps us all remember that life is not permanent and that cultivating gratitude is a great path to being present.