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World Soil Day: farm food in North Carolina

Partner story

Photo by Liubov Ilchuk from Unsplash

“We transition people from conventional food to sustainably grown food,” says executive director of the Coalition for Healthier Eating, Maxine White. “We provide training for young parents. We provide healthier food, we hold healthy eating events where we go into communities – we have a cook that prepares farm food, and we invite people out to eat it, so that they will learn that it does taste better.”  

December 5 is World Soil Day, on which we acknowledge the need for healthy soil which enables safe and nutritious food to grow without endangering essential ecosystems. Since the 20th century and the development of industrial agricultural practices, food production has undergone a radical transformation. With machinery, pesticides and biotechnology, food supplies have increased and become more affordable but there have also been consequences – ecologically, socially and health-wise. Therefore perhaps there has never been a time in history when small farmers growing good quality food, in healthy soil and without the use of pesticides, is so important.

Farmers and grassroots organisations in North Carolina plan, manage and implement sustainable farming programmes in their communities.

Oak supports the Conservation Fund, which works with small, community-based and community-focused organisations throughout North Carolina. Together they help to improve lives by raising awareness about sustainable living and reducing barriers to healthy farm produce.

The Coalition for Healthier Eating brings farm-grown produce to low-income neighbourhoods. “We have some trailers where we go into low-income, low-access neighbourhoods, and we take the farm produce into those neighbourhoods, and sell them to people, so a person can get a week’s worth of food … for less than a hundred dollars,” says Maxine.

“The most wonderful thing that could have happened to me in my retirement is to be a farmer.” says Ardis Crews, a retiree who works on one of the community-based farms.

From all of us at Oak Foundation: Keep up the good work!