By Mark Traphagen on April 3, 2011
Instead, we drove out to Efland, North Carolina, home to Fickle Creek Farm, a bio-sustainable project that “strives to provide farm fresh, healthy products to its customers through careful environmental stewardship, sustainable practices, and humane animal treatment” (from their website.) For much of our two years here in Durham we have bought most of our meat and all of our eggs from Fickle Creek at the Durham Farmers Market. Karyn has had a number of conversations with Ben and Noah, the owners, and found them to be very personable and engaging. We decided to take advantage of an invitation to come out and see dinner walking around.
Upon arriving, we were greeted by the owners’ six-year-old foster child, Daryl, who was very eager to show us a foot from a chicken that had been killed that afternoon. He led us over to co-owner Ben, who greeted Karyn like an old friend. Even though he was in the middle of washing and sorting the thousand eggs they process on a daily basis, Ben took plenty of time to explain the farm’s unique characteristics with us. Later, we went on our own walking tour, with Daryl as our self-appointed guide.
We were so encouraged to see how clean the farm was (for a farm!), and it was immediately obvious how well-cared-for the animals are. Ben and Noah and their staff have worked hard to utilize the best sustainable techniques. They even reclaimed land from a high-voltage power line right-of-way, turning it into free range chicken grazing areas.
Perhaps more stunning than the farm, though, were Ben’s stories of how he and Noah had raised 13 difficult-to-place foster children while maintaining this busy farm.
We’re so glad to have this kind of connection with these kind of people who make some of our food.
Slideshow below has some iPhone photos I took during our visit. Mouseover for controls.