This month we are delighted to feature Casey Jordaan for our member spotlight. First hearing about BRWIA as a student at Appalachian State University, Casey shows us the perspective of a beginning farmer and the love that drove her to continue. She is now the proud owner of Mountainwise Farms in Zionville, NC with her partner Tyler.
P.S. 看看凯西和泰勒的农场 在这里!
凯西: I first heard about BRWIA when I was in school at Appalachian State University. 如果我没记错的话, t在这里 was a display of photographs from that year's Farm Tour in the Student Union. I remember wanting to know more about what BRWIA does in the community. This was way before I had even the slightest inkling that I wanted to be a farmer, myself. But I do remember feeling super inspired by the idea that t在这里 was this community and organization that supported not only women but women in agriculture. I still feel that way - we are so lucky to live in a place w在这里 things like BRWIA exist for women and farmers.
凯西: I always recall my earliest introduction to farming on my grandparent's farm in a very remote part of South Africa. It was those memories, feelings and nostalgic longing that brought me to farming in my 20's. 大学毕业后, I worked and traveled in a few different places and it was during that time that I really started to evaluate my values, 我对环境的热情, 动物, 健康+保健), 我想要怎样的生活以及我对自己未来的看法. 所有 signs pointed to small-scale, sustainable agriculture time and time again. It wasn't long until, Tyler, my partner and I decided that we want to have a farm of our own. That was our goal, so we started taking steps towards making that goal a reality. 我们开始大量阅读, 我们俩都没有农业方面的教育背景, 因此，获得基础知识对我们来说很重要. And not long after that, we decided it was time to get some hands-on, practical experience. 我们知道小规模, intensive vegetable production was our primary interest so we started looking for internships that we believed would be a good fit for what we wanted to learn. 我们最终在北卡罗来纳州维拉斯的斯普林豪斯农场实习. Shortly into that internship, we both agreed that this was definitely the life for us! 这就是我们想要的! From t在这里 everything progressed naturally - from starting our own farming operation on leased land to buying our first farm!
Eva: What is it like to be a member of the local agricultural community?
凯西: Boone is unique in that it is such a supportive and encouraging community. Both inside and outside of agriculture - the community 在这里 is super invested in seeing each other succeed. I am continually encouraged and inspired by how supportive our community is. 我们很感激能参与其中.
Eva: What are some of the best parts about being a farmer in the High Country?
凯西: Farming in the High Country is so special because of the rich and supportive community we have 在这里. T在这里 are so many resources for farmers through BRWIA and the Extension office - you know you always have someone to turn to when you don't have all the answers. I also love farming in the Appalachian Mountains because of its rich cultural and natural history. 大力, these mountains have such a warm and welcoming embrace - they are truly a magical place.
凯西: I think by far the biggest obstacle that I have had to face when it comes to farming, 仅仅是做出决定和承诺去做吗! Coming to terms with changing direction and starting something completely new in my life, 既困难又可怕. I truly believe that making the decision was the hardest part - but once we were committed to our goals, everything started to flow from such an authentic place and it just felt so right!
Eva: Do you have any words of wisdom or pieces of advice for local up-and-coming farmers?
凯西: If I could impart any wisdom to up-and-coming farmers it would be not to let a lack of education or experience hold you back from pursuing a life in farming. Give yourself permission to pursue your dreams and everything else can be learned along the way!
Eva: Do you have any favorite memories or stories about BRWIA or the local agricultural community?
凯西: My most recent favorite memories from BRWIA are from participating in the King Street Market. We loved being a part of the growing market and helping to make it a reality.
凯西: 绝对! BRWIA is not only a supportive and established community but it offers so many resources to the local community it is such a valuable asset to all of us. I know that our decision to farm in the High Country was greatly influenced by what BRWIA has to offer and the community it has built around it! 谢谢你！!!!
凯西: Starting Mountainwise Farm with Tyler is by far my proudest accomplishment!
凯西: Outside of farming, taking care of all my 动物 is my passion and my hobby! 他们给我带来了很多快乐. 我也练瑜伽!