Matthew Garrett, a 24-year-old farmer, is transitioning a 40 acre tobacco farm to organic produce. He's in the second year of the three-year transition requirement to certify a farm organic. In this process, Matthew is also finding ways to convert old tobacco farm equipment for his organic produce needs.
The land's owner, with strong family ties to the land, lives in California but felt very strongly about someone farming his land organically. Matthew had already become very involved with the Wilson Farmer's Market and was sought out for the organic vegetables he grew in a garden at his parents' house. The land-owner discovered Matthew and recruited him to farm his land.
Learn about the challenges of growing organic in eastern North Carolina, how Matthew almost gave up last year from an unforeseen challenge, and what it is about farming that makes Matthew stay.
The Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund (TCRF) assists farmers in developing new sources of agricultural income through provision of cost-share grants. This story is part of a series documenting innovative farmers throughout the state of North Carolina. This program is made possible with support from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.
Photography, audio, and production by Alix Blair.