Meet Your Farmers… The Farmer and the Dad
Whew..that was a whirlwind Father’s Day weekend! In the spirit of coming off of the heels of celebrating Father’s Day; I am so excited to share this next feature about a a farmer and his son. Now let’s dive into our ‘Get to Know Your Farmer’ feature this week. I met Dan through his wife Molly and coincidentally my husband and I kept running into him and his family all around town. We soon learned that Dan and family enjoy live, local music and in particular bluegrass the way the Viking and I both do.
Our families share a bond for music, icey cold beverages and we are all community oriented. Bonus…and then we found out that they were suburban homesteaders as well. This is a recipe for a life-long friendship and we are so glad we have connected with them on the journey. Dan started a business locally called The Farmer and The Dad, but don’t listen to me on this topic…check out my interview with him below.
Describe yourself in four words.
Father, husband, gardener, and adventurer.
What inspired you to begin gardening/suburban homesteading?
It started as a way for healthier eating and to get my son interested in gardening. It quickly evolved into a way for me to relax and help ease me with my depression and anxiety. I began to find getting my hands dirty and nurturing the plants to life truly did/does help me cope with my depression/anxiety.
What is your favorite crop to grow?
Tomatoes (because they challenge me), cucumbers, peppers (all kinds).
How do you feel as a producer that farmers/producers positively impact the community?
I can only speak from my experiences, but I love sharing stories with others as to how easy it is to get started with simply just small raised beds and expand from there if they’d like. It also opens up countless social experiences at farmers markets as you are able to talk with those who are producing your food. Over time you develop friendships with local farmers which helps you grow as a gardener/homesteader.
What is your why?
I believe sharing my story can help others who may be feeling burdened or perhaps also suffering or recovering from depression/anxiety. It’s about helping my friend, my neighbor or even someone I’ve never met get started. If a small garden can help people achieve a peace of mind and relax, I’m going to help them do it. For me, something magical happens when you “birth” plants from seeds. It seems to make everything feel alright. It’s not always the harvest that is the most rewarding.
How are you gardening/doing your work etc..?
My gardens tend to be 4×4 raised beds in which I utilize the square foot gardening method to help me maximize the little space I have to work with. I also like to plant certain crops such as tomatoes and lettuce in containers (such as planters and hanging baskets). At the moment I have 2 tomato plants that I planted upside down so they hang from a hole in the bottom of a hanging basket. One of them is doing really well while the other is really struggling (hard to figure out why)—but isn’t that all about life too? We’ve also have started our fruit crops. Along one side of our fence we have blueberries while the other side is blackberries and raspberries. We can’t wait to explore jam making next.
Share any musings or connections you have made w/ gardening…
I love the fact that there is no one “type” of gardener. We all contribute somehow. I love the fact that you can choose your own adventure in gardening. I’ve gotten better with handing failure too. It’s fun to talk with other people in how they failed forward. One recent customer had her dog digging up her Victory Garden Box and the sun scorching her plants. She put up a fence and beach umbrella. It’s all about getting gritty mentally and literally. I also love the “gangster gardner” (Ron Finley) who is doing amazing things out in LA. I encourage everyone to watch his TED Talk and be inspired to make a difference in your own way that feels right for you. (Note: A favorite of this blogger’s too….I’ve linked his TED Talk for all of you to enjoy!)
What are you next steps/future plans with your homestead?
While we’d like to have chickens our HOA does not allow ‘farm animals’ in the neighborhood. At some point I will figure out a way to have these farm animals as pets in my backyard. I am also going to be adding some more raised beds so I can add in larger crops of sweet and regular potatoes as well as winter squash. My son and I also have a plan to get started with grapes as we are going to build a trellis this fall. I have you know that our backyard is only 4000 square feet too so we are proof positive that there is a lot of things you can do with a small backyard. I encourage everyone to keep an open mind and book a free 30 minute consulting session with me so we can imagine it together.
Where Can People Find You?
We cover ILM but we can share what part of town you are based out of or what you are doing in your part of town etc…
If you want to reach out to Dan follow him on his facebook page The Farmer and the Dad and send him a message…he would love to connect.
Stay tuned for our next local farmer feature! We have so many great farmers in the Cape Fear Region to feature! Our next feature will be of a young couple who are hobby farmers. I can’t wait to share this next feature either. It’s so cool to get to know your local farmers! I hope you enjoyed reading about Dan and his son at The Farmer and the Dad as much as I have enjoyed featuring them on our blog. I hope this post inspires you to get to know your farmer!
Be well and stay safe everyone!