When we are in North Carolina, we drive off the farm early every Saturday morning and visit the West Jefferson Farmers’ Market. A growing number of friends are becoming small time farmers that enjoy great margins selling organic, hand produced food.
In the past few years, the West Jefferson Farmers Market has grown from a tiny spot off the street to a really busy place.
One of our neighbors Ann Rose of Rose Mountain Farm went totally off the grid and not only grows naturally and organically but plows with a mule! Ann puts it, “My plowing machine creates gas and fertilizer instead of using it!”
This is a huge growing arena… better…more nutritious less refined food, where you know the grower, requires less to make you full. Plus it’s sold locally…taking less energy to get the food from the field to your mouth.
That’s the vision. Folks making a living being closer, friendlier…more efficient as we can be healthier…eating less of better while we reduce the world’s need for food.
More supply…of a better product…and less demand. That’s vision and that’s food for thought and opportunity.
Ann was recently featured in the cover story of the Heifer International Magazine WorldArk .
She has also opened a micro agri business where you can obtain organic veggies and meat through the post.
Ann lives near us, off the grid in her hand-built cabin. She worked for years as a nurse, but after her three daughters grew up and had their own lives, she left stress of hospital work and moved off the grid to create her organic farm.
She learned how to garden and how to raise and process hogs.
The Heifer.org article explains Ann’s passion.
“In her work at the hospital she often saw people in their 80s and 90s coming in to the emergency room for the first time, passing their hours stuck in a hospital bed fretting about how they needed to be home hoeing their gardens or tending their animals. Rose was convinced their active lifestyles and homegrown diets had kept them healthy for many decades.
And so she made her plan: “Instead of fixing people after they’re all broken up, let’s start with feeding them well.”
Rose purchased a steep mountainside not too far from our farm and moved into a 300-square-foot shed with no electricity and no hot water. This was very similar to what Merri and I did when we moved into a small shed high in the Ecuador Andes.
She expanded this shed into a 650-square-foot house with a wood-burning stove in the kitchen, a loft for her bed and tall windows to catch the sun and a rooftop water collection system. She grows all of her own food except a bit of organic coffee and organic cornmeal. She eats fresh eggs from her chickens, fresh milk from her cow, pork from her pasture-raised hogs, organic produce from her garden and apples from her trees.
Rose’s farm produces enough food that she has meat and produce to sell and has opened Rose Mountain Butcher Shoppe in Lansing, our nearest town (which has a couple hundred friendly people).
Ann’s window front in Lansing.
Rose sells products from her farm and from other local growers and has created a way for our readers to enjoy healthy food without coming to the Blue Ridge (though we do hope you’ll visit us at a seminar here).
You can see more about Ann’s shop and how to create a healthy food program at her website: www.rosemountainbutchershoppe.com