Peaceful River Farm is one of a growing number of businesses to measure success not simply in financial terms but also in social and environmental impact. Farming is a notoriously low margin business where over 90% of America’s family farms rely on at least one family member to work off the farm. North Carolina has lost half of its family farms since the 1970’s. Yet, beyond the financial challenges are the rewarding social and environmental opportunities. These opportunities motivate second career farmers like us as well as a burgeoning number of young people wanting to farm or participate in farming.
Here are the nonfinancial core values that guide our farm endeavors:
- We farm sustainably for health, to protect the environment especially the Haw River and creeks feeding it, to boost the local economy, and to educate and inspire others to buy and grow sustainable produce.
- We seek to offer an inspiring farm to motivate folks to garden themselves — advocating that productive horticulture can be as visually pleasing as ornamental horticulture.
- The care in maintaining an aesthetically pleasing setting also is congruent with our care for the experience folks have in visiting the farm whether for dinner or for a healthy cooking class – we want to knock their socks off with the farm’s beauty and serenity, the delicious food, the knowledge imparted, and the sense of fellowship and common purpose.
- Folks visiting our farm learn why and how we farm sustainably, enriching their experience in visiting the farm.
- Focusing on soil health is congruent with our efforts to educate folks about healthy food and healthy people as well as our expressed intent for farm dinner participants and our customers to obtain the healthiest and freshest food available.
As parents and grandparents we are especially guided by our dream of a better future. A future where healthy and local food is plentiful, where farms and farm communities thrive, where streams and rivers are clean, and where soil is rich and brimming with microbial life. Our sweat equity in Peaceful River Farm is one step in building that better future.