Saturday, part 2. The CFSA farm tour.

After spending our morning on chores and whatnot, Justin and I took off for the farm tour. We were limited on time because we’d spent too much time at the farmer’s market, and I was determined to eat a good lunch at Angie’s. It was all worth it and there really weren’t many farms on my side of town that I wanted to see anyway.

Our first stop was In Theory Farm in Angier. The farm was small and well run and the people were super friendly. I ended up talking to one of the farmers and learned that she wanted to sell two of her pigs. Since I needed pigs I gave her my card and told her I’d be happy to buy them. She also needed some help processing some Cornish cross chickens that were 11 weeks old (that’s old for a Cornish cross). I offered her what little help I could and she said she’d likely take me up on it. Hopefully we’ll get together on the pigs because they were nice looking Tamworth pigs and they were sized where we could put them in with our pigs and sally forth.

Second we stopped by LL Urban Farm in Holly Springs. As we pulled up I told Justin we’d only be a few minutes because all they did there was raise hydroponic lettuce. They had a farm stand I noted as we pulled in but I didn’t pay much attention to. We hooked up with one of the farmers and took the tour of the hydroponics. There are farmers who are plant people, and there are ones who are animal people. Not many cross over. I’m an animal farmer. I can grow plants in my garden but I really don’t care for growing plants as a profession. I really don’t have an interest in hydroponics as it’s just that much farther out there from my animal husbandry interests but it’s always interesting to see what other people do and it was impressive how much lettuce they grew in their greenhouses. As we finished the tour I started talking to the farmer and introduced myself as another farmer. Of course we started talking shop. Then another gentleman came up and noted my Ninja Cow Farm shirt. He said he’d heard of us and I learned that he was the property owner. I also learned he was the former mayor of Cary! His farm was on .99 acres and he was turning an amazing amount of revenue from his small plot. We discussed farming regulations and how wonderful it was to be a farmer in NC. Then the conversation turned to his farm stand, which was his real farm business. I mentioned that The Princess wanted her own farm stand and I’d been considering putting something small in. He was very enthusiastic about his farm stand and we spent the next hour there talking about his business. He shared an amazing amount of proprietary information with me, things that take years to learn the hard way. I finally realized I’d taken no pictures of the stand so I took one to show The Princess later. This is the inside view of their road side stand.

road side farm stand
LL Urban Farm in Holly Springs road side farm stand.

Finally Justin and I left and headed for the Inter Faith Food Shuttle farm on Tryon Road, only because it was on our way home. We arrived to find that the tour was cancelled at their location and nobody was around.

We headed home and met back up with Miguel. We brought out a bucket of food and in about 10 minutes had sorted the pigs into two different paddocks, with everyone on the correct side of the wire. It was a good call to wait till later in the day to sort them. Food is the way to move pigs.

I had felt guilty taking off to go on the farm tour. I needed to be at work. I needed to be on the farm. My family was at the beach vacationing and had had some problems that I could have solved had I been there. I could have been doing so many things instead of visiting farmers but CFSA had asked us to be on the tour and I needed to go see what the setup was like so we could prepare next year should we choose to be on the tour. They had even given us a complimentary pass to take the tour so I felt obligated to use it, however I still felt guilty. However by afternoon’s end, I had made some great connections, met some of my neighbors, and maybe even bought a few pigs. The time on the tour was time well spent.

After sorting the pigs, I said goodbye to Miguel and Justin and headed to the house for a shower. With the wife and kids at the beach, Dustin and I headed out for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, San Remo Italian Grill. Alas neither Johnny nor Allison were there so I didn’t get to see my friends but the food was good and we met some nice people while sitting at the bar. We also were able to witness a date where the couple arrived in this.

http://instagram.com/p/tMjz-QDggF/

That’s a 1926 Model T. You don’t see that every day. The entire restaurant turned to watch as they left. It was a very neat car and beautifully restored.

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