Our farm need grew from the ever-growing demand for elbow room for our hobbies. Paul, the hunter. Me, the gardner & beekeeper. The boys – well, boys. Projects that we piloted on a small scale at home, in the mountains, quickly outgrew their bounds and demanded space. We discovered this land in Chatham County and the dream rolled on.
Our farmland has history, or maybe poultry provenance. It started as a chicken farm before the 50’s as Pittsboro Poultry. In the 70’s it was sold to Mary & John Clouse who operated as Rocky Hill Farm. They were contract chicken farmers raising broilers for hatching eggs. And their heritage here is humbling. Everyone in the small farm business knew them. Mary still visits and tells me that John was legendary for his way with animals. Well known and in high demand for sheep shearing, cattle advice, and mechanical know-how. Mary was legendary in her own right. An outspoken supporter advocate of small farms who spoke to all who would listen about the importance & tough road of the small farmer.
Following those footsteps makes you feel small. Time took its toll on the farm. Chicken barns were torn down and things fell into disrepair. But we saw great possibility (and work). We find that bringing back farm crops from the past seems to feel right here. Neighbors comment that it’s good to hear a rooster on the farm again. And the beehives are buzzing again. We are working to find our own path & niche on this land but find that things here have roots (and rocks). We’ll keep trying, adding new things but working hard to maintain the character and roots from which it came. It just feels right.