Over the last four years, I’ve been watching the Raleigh City Farm grow. In the downtown area of Raleigh, the Farm is located on 800 N. Blount Street. Having lived in the Historic Oakwood community for 10 years (from 1988-1998), I watched this area change. A lot. I never imagined it would be what it is today, and for that I’m truly thankful. If I had to imagine what the area needed the most, it would have been the Farm, but it never occurred to me.
It did occur to John Whiton, though. And that is a Bee Better thing.
The Raleigh City Farm is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) organization with a mission, “To grow new urban farms and farm entrepreneurs to strengthen sustainable, healthy food systems.” It has made a big difference in this part of town.
The Farm hasn’t reached it’s goal of looking like this, but they are moving in the right direction.
Yesterday, I toured the Raleigh City Farm and met the General Manager Rebekah Beck, and the current farm entrepreneur, James Edwards. James signed a three-year contract in January to work the farm. James pays a nominal rent and farms the land. His goal is to gross $50,000 on the one-third acre Farm. This is an ambitious goal since that equates to $150,000 per acre, and that has never been achieved. But we can HELP!
Meet James Edwards, farmer and chef. James attended culinary school in Charlotte, NC. After graduation, he headed to NYC to learn as much as he could about the restaurant business. Later he opened his own restaurant with great success, but within that those three years, James became more and more inquisitive about growing food and wanted to farm. The Raleigh City Farm offered James a opportunity to be their resident farmer when the previous farmer fulfilled his three-year contract.
I hope you can make it out to the farm stand on Saturdays during the growing season to not only support Farmer James Edwards and The Raleigh City Farm, but a healthy lifestyle. It all begins with the soil.
This Saturday, April 23, 2016 begins a new farm stand season. Open from 9-noon. Come by the Farm to get just-picked produce or sign up for the CSA for 10-weeks of fresh-to-your-door weekly supplies.
Bring your children. They will delight in seeing where the packaged stuff from the grocery store originates.
We grow a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers at Raleigh City Farm. When they’re in season you can find items at the Farmstand like Salad Greens (field lettuces, hydroponic lettuce, arugula, mustards, microgreens) Braising Greens (Dino Kale, Rainbow Chard, Tokyo Bekana), Roots (Easter Egg Radish, Hakurei Turnip), Shoots (Napini, Pea Tendrils, Microgreens), Herbs (Basil, Thyme, Chives, Cilantro, Parsley, Mint), Mushrooms, Tomatoes and more!