Granite Springs Farm – a local farm, CSA and more . . .

Thursday evening’s Wellness of Chatham meeting was educational, connective and heart-warming.  I have to say that Meredith Leight of Granite Springs Farm is one amazing woman, and I thank her for sharing her incredible story as well as her openness, optimism and vision.  We all could learn so much more from her than how to grow kick-butt Kohlrabi!  A big shout out of appreciation as well to our host, Chatham Marketplace, for the use of their warm and friendly indoor dining space . . . almost warm enough to meet outside that night! 
Thank you also to those who attended: Christiana Herndon, Chris Bouton, Donna Poe, Debbie Cook, Cindy Shetter, Perrin Heartway and Barb Tesla.  It was wonderful to see you all!

So, what do I say?  Meredith began our meeting with the touching and incredible story of how she started Granite Springs Farm.  It is clear she is one connected person who is doing wonderfully enriching things for our community. A brief overview of what was presented is as follows:

* In 3 short years, Granite Springs Farm has grown its CSA to 50 shares.  Currently, there are about 5 spots left, so if you are interested in joining their CSA, contact Meredith at granitespringsfarm@me.com  There are 3 sessions throughout the growing year.  Eggs can be included in a share.

* Granite Springs Farm sits on 140 acres off of rte 87 in Pittsboro.
* Last year, the farm offerings were about 85 varieties of veggies/herbs and eggs.
* They currently provide fresh farm grown food locally to Small B&B, Angelina’s Kitchen, Neil’s Deli, Saxapahaw General Store, Kappa Delta Sorority and soon to be others.
* The farm employs a handful of young part-time workers in their early 20’s and has offered 5 teens from Meredith’s church their very first paying job! 
*Recently, Granite Springs Farm was awarded a RAFI (Rural Advancement Foundation International) grant to start a project involving the production of vertically-grown in pasterized medium, hoop-house oyster mushrooms.  We learned a bit about this new venture, and it sounds very exciting, not to mention great for local restaurants, chefs and those of us who LOVE these delicious mushrooms!
* Perhaps one of the most exciting ventures that Granite Springs Farm has begun planning is the creation of an Agrarian Community.  Check out their website for more information on that in coming months. 
Other shared information at the meeting:
Chris Bouton has launched a website blog called A Dash of Culture.  It’s about food and culture and so much more.  Visit and “like” on FB  http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Dash-of-Culture/238560636227475 and view at http://www.adashofculture.com/   She’s a great writer, and I’ve enjoyed what she says about local food, history, culture and more!
Barb Tesla shared info on the TEDxManhattan event that took place on January 21, 2012, in New York City. The one-day event highlighted several aspects of the sustainable food movement and the work being done to shift our food system from industrially-based agriculture to one in which healthy, nutritious food is accessible to all.
http://tedxmanhattan.org/steve-ritz-online-now/    Thanks Barb!
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