The IFFS Tryon Road Teaching Farm is a place to grow your knowledge about where your food comes from. Volunteers can dig in the dirt on a working farm, complete with chickens, goats, and bees. Spread over 6 acres on Tryon Rd, and an adjacent three acres on Dover Farm Rd., this diversified production farm is home to educational experiences, entrepreneurs, and micro-enterprises.
What does this have to do with hunger relief?
Plenty! We believe that the knowledge of how to grow food is an important step toward developing a locally-owned food system that builds self-sufficiency and community power. The more we understand about growing and preparing food, the healthier we are. Growing food, especially in urban areas and on small tracts of land, is a viable way for people to feed themselves. Just ask your grandmother!
As NC Senator Vernon Malone once told us about his experience growing up, “We were poor, but we never knew it, because everybody had gardens and everybody ‘put up’ food and shared.”
The goal of the Tryon Road Teaching Farm is to demonstrate an economically and environmentally sustainable business model rooted in agriculture. Our produce is organically-grown and our chickens are happily free ranging. We sell both produce and eggs directly from the growing sites, at area farmers markets, and to local restaurants. Even our not-for-profit Catering with a Cause uses these fresh local ingredients in season. The Teaching Farm also provides chemical-free, freshly harvested food for the Food Shuttle’s Mobile Markets where families come to have access to fresh produce and that includes our awesome produce.
Incubator Farmer Program
Many people, older and young, are interested in becoming a “small market farmers” which will help grow the local food movement in our community. But, it takes lot of money to begin farming, so this 3 year program provides land, tools and teaching for beginning farmers to learn to grow food. These “Agricultural Entrepreneurs” use our land, our tools and we give them instruction and experience to help them be a successful small market farmer. The program has been very successful because most people do not know how hard farming is, and the first few 95 degree days hit and the constant battle with weeds overwhelms and……their OUT! Ha! We have had several leave the program after a year because they had no idea how hard it was to farm. This a success because they were able to determine that “farming is not for me” without the large investment that starting a farm requires. We have five Incubator Farmers that are doing a wonderful job. The Farm Stand is a teaching tool for these Incubator Farmers. It gives them a place to sell their food and to learn how to properly harvest and prepare their produce for market. We even have Incubator Farmers learning how to be beekeepers from our volunteer beekeeper Patrick Hartzell!
Purchase fresh produce from Tryon Road Farm Stand
You can purchase produce grown chemical-free (and eggs from our pasture-raised hens!) at IFFS’s Tryon Road Farm Stand. Proceeds support IFFS hunger relief programs. Local restaurants also buy produce from the Teaching Farm – and have learned that the quality of locally grown food far exceeds produce that is shipped in.
The Farm Stand accepts cash, check, credit or debit card, and SNAP and is open Saturdays from 8am to 5pm.
The Farm Stand will be back in the spring! Thank you to everyone who supported the Teaching Farm and the
Incubator Farmers. See you at next harvest!
Want to be get weekly emails with what’s for sale? E-mail Janny@FoodShuttle.org to get on the farm stand list.
Refugee Family Farming Program
We provide land for refugee families from Burma, the Karen Community to grow food. We have 12 families (some have been in Burmese refugee camps for 9 years) that are farming on our land and growing Asian food for their families and to share with their community. This is the second year of this program and it has been very successful with more and more families wanting to have a plot to grow food. These lovely people come from agricultural villages and being able to work the land again has made them more comfortable in our strange country. They are amazing farmers.