Zephyr Family Farm
Zephyr Family Farm was created in 2020 when we, Amanda and Steven, took a hard look at our life (like so many folks) and decided to change our “long term” farm plan into a “right now” farm plan. In 2021 we found something we thought was impossible, farmland for lease in Wake County! This allowed us to keep our current home AND have a farm. With that we took a big leap and became full time farmers. The land had poor, overworked soil and no infrastructure, so we got busy. We set up drip irrigation, installed solar and generator power and a trailer so we have farm facilities. We also shaped our fields, planted cover crops and grew some test crops to get to know the soil better. In June of 2022 we started selling produce!
We focus on two main things when choosing what we grow. First and foremost we love Southern heirlooms! We grow several that are special to our family history and we enjoy sharing those connections. Whether you’re from the south or not, we think it’s really cool to eat a veggie that’s been loved here for generations. Second, we focus on crops that help us adapt to the climate crisis. We seek out crops that can handle these changes and help us feed folks as we try to deal with this emergency. It also pushes us to learn about the wider plant world and other peoples culinary traditions. A plant might be new to me, but it’s not “new”. When I learn about a plant my goal is to center their traditional connections as we make new ones.
All the work on the farm is done by us (our three kids and dog are there for emotional support lol).We currently have just under an acre in production, with another half acre in cover crop.We use only sustainable practices on our farm and passed our Certified Naturally Grown inspection earlier this year. For us, sustainability looks like building soil health by reducing tillage practices to a minimum, using cover crops and crop rotation practices to manage weeds, pests and diseases, and using natural fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides very sparingly. We also constantly evaluate our practices to see where we can reduce the use of plastics and fossil fuels.
We have big plans for the future, apple trees, bees, chickens…the dream list is long. But, if we can accomplish all this in a year there’s no limit to what we can do. We hope people will enjoy what we grow and can’t wait to meet new folks.