Farm-to-fork is a great catch phrase and an even greater ideal for sustainable agriculture, but as the saying goes: the devil is in the details. How do you keep local farms in business when urban areas – who clamor for fresh, locally-produced food – are gobbling up urban farmland instead?
Enter Carolina Farm Trust. The Trust helps farmers by purchasing farm equipment, leasing or buying farmland to preserve it, and reaching out to customers who can support local foods with their buying habits. Their current efforts are helping four local farms in the Charlotte region and several others across North Carolina with their efforts to be sustainable and provide local products that balance agricultural needs with their regions’ explosive growth.
The Dunstan Groups sees the importance of keeping local farms viable as an essential part of our community, and is stepping up to help the Carolina Farm Trust with its fundraising event, the Carolina Jubilee. The Dunstan Group donated a tent with the Carolina Farm Trust logo for the Jubilee’s organizers, along with stickers that can help market the event that raises money for the Trust.
“We’re all about relationships and doing good for our community,” says Dunstan Group founder and President Scott Dunstan. “We love their mission to increase the availability of healthy and fresh foods for everyone and decided to ‘provide the shade’ for their upcoming Carolina Jubilee by donating the tent.” Donations like this one are an ongoing part of the Dunstan Group’s mission to build the communities around them through relationships and lending a hand where it’s needed.
Zack Wyatt, the founder of Carolina Farm Trust and creator of the Carolina Jubilee, is grateful for the generous gift. He calls the Jubilee a “labor of love.” Both the Trust and the Jubilee spring from Wyatt’s love of the farmland he grew up on in northern Virginia. As he saw farms disappear, he realized agriculture was “on life support,” he decided to do something about it.
“We want to rebuild the farming infrastructure, make local farms affordable to the community,” says Wyatt. “We’re focused on rural community but also urban farms to support urban areas.”
Wyatt picked Van Hoy Farms in Harmony, NC, (Iredell County) for the Carolina Jubilee because it’s in a rural area that’s centrally located to the region’s largest cities — Charlotte, Asheville, Hickory, and Greensboro/Winston-Salem. Wyatt thought that was a good place for NC residents to learn about farming without going too far from home.
“We want to get people out of the city into the country and relate,” he says. “We were trying to connect people with food and where it comes from — in a venue that’s easy, approachable, and fun, to celebrate Carolina agriculture and the affiliates with it.” The two-day festival will include food from Carolina farms, local breweries, and some tasty cocktails.
It’s a goal as simple as the food we eat, and Dunstan Group is happy to throw a little “shade” — and awareness — to bring everyone to the table.
The Carolina Jubilee is September 27-28 in Harmony, NC. Find out more and buy tickets here: https://thecarolinajubilee.org/