February 4th, Hurdle Mills, Dawnbreaker Farms SOIL with Carol Hewitt

Come on up to Ben’s place: “Good food. Raised right.” Bring a folding chair.  You have time to go to church/meeting/zendo/synagogue/the woods in the morning. We’ve moved these to afternoons.  Ben can only seat 30, and we already have 15 after only posting this once, a week ago. Carol Hewitt is one popular woman!  She’s also lovely and brilliant, so, go figure.

Since 2010, Carol has helped farmers and local food businesses find affordable peer-to-peer loans, and now is launching SOIL, a revolving loan fund funded by charitable donations.  See her website:  SlowMoney NC about the SOIL fund!

Carol was raised by a New England vet who packed her about with him from farm to farm, much in the way of James Herriot.  As the landscape of her home gave way to development, and farms disappeared, Carol’s current purpose took root.  For years, she supported her spouse Mark Hewitt, who is a renowned NC potter, and she raised two lovely daughters into young, empowered women.   And, by the way, she also wrote a book, helped launch a food co-op and a local musical.  No big deal.

Now she is showing up in a new way for small farmers, with her usual brilliance and her whole heart. You do not want to miss getting some time with her.

And, by the way, you don’t want to miss Ben either.  Why is it that men named Ben tend to live up to their gentle-heart name?  This one is no exception – except that he is a rather exceptional example!   Come see Ben at Dawnbreaker Farms.  And spend time with your peers. It’s time to fill up our spirits before the season gets underway.

To visit SOIL:  https://slowmoneync.org/soil

See you on the 4th!


Katherine’s Cheese

Her goats were producing so much milk that Katherine started making cheese, and then she had so much cheese that she started calling friends to come get it. This is the slippery slope of farming.  Fleming told a similar tale back when I apprenticed at Celebrity Dairy.  That was 1993.  25 years since I landed in Chatham. 25 years of friendship and community and Farmschool programs.  Katherine and I go back farther, to Chapel Hill in the late 80s, and she goes way back, because she’s from here.

How is it that I get a friend who gives away chevre? That’s like having a money tree. And a soul tree. I guess that’s what it means to take root in a place.  Katherine has roots, deep ones.  Though mine are more shallow, they still hold me hard to the bedrock of home.  I can’t seem to leave, now.  I think about it, dream of blue ridge rocking chair views,  fold upon fold of mothering bosoms fading into the mist, but the inexorable draw of community and culture will likely see me scratching at white clay, watching pink and baby blue sunsets at Screech Owl.