When we say that you should get to know your food, we don’t mean you should interview a zucchini (though we’d love to know what they think about their new claim to fame as zoodles). We’re talking about knowing the story behind your food. Who picked it, where did it come from, and more! We love partnering with growers like Happy Dirt. The story behind their farm is a great one, and we’re happy to share it with you.
So without further ado, meet Fresh Pik Farms of Kenly, NC and head farmers James Sharp, Jake Rabon, Jim Warenda. They’re responsible for growing quite a bit of our summer produce, including watermelon (hello Soupergirl’s favorite gazpacho flavor), bell peppers, squash, and tomatoes.
How long have you been farming?
Fresh Pik Started in 1997. Both James and Jacob are generational farmers from North Carolina. They’ve been working on their families’ farms since they were big enough to reach the clutch on a tractor.
What drew you to farming?
As children, both James and Jake were inspired by their father’s and grandfather’s dedication to their community. Their family is dedicated to providing safe and healthy food for their community and beyond.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
They love harvesting the crops they raise and getting them to the buyers to distribute to the community.
How does Fresh Pik incorporate sustainable practices into your work?
Fresh Pic uses traditional, sustainable farming methods such as no-till in any situations they can, as well as double crop their commodities to save over 50% of the plastic waste most farms produce.
For example, they’ll plant sweet corn, harvest it, and then plant watermelons on the same rows and plastic mulch as the sweet corn. Most farms would tear the plastic up and throw it away after the first crop was harvested.
Why is sustainable agriculture important?
For James and Jake, this is an easy one. They believe that if you cannot provide a sustainable environment for the agriculture ecosystem, the stability of the food chain supply is at risk, creating hyperinflation in commodity prices as well as food deserts throughout communities.
Every year Fresh-Pik donates money to Local FFA organizations to help promote another generation of agrarians into the Agriculture industry.
Sara Polon (Soupergirl), Co-Founder and CEO, has the attention span of a gnat. Therefore, her post-college career path took many meandering twists and turns including working at an Internet start up, leading tours through the Middle East, and several years as a stand-up comic in New York.
In 2008, after reading Michael Pollan's book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, she founded Soupergirl along with her mom, Marilyn Polon. Sara is passionate about upending the industrialization of our food system. She believes deeply that consumers can make food choices that better themselves as well as the world. She drinks an average of five cups of coffee a day - usually black. In her spare time she enjoys biking, hiking, hanging out with her nieces, and drinking even more coffee.