Biofarm provides culinary ingredients and organic plant-based products for farmers, chefs, restaurants, and community.
Beginning ten years ago with Farmer Doug Jones, who farmed using sustainable methods for 39 years before starting Piedmont Biofarms, LLC, on Lorax Lane in Pittsboro, NC, the land here has been cultivated with innovation and care. The many varieties of peppers grown and developed by Jones became widely known and sought-after by local chefs, along with his outstanding sweet potatoes and garlic. Each year, the tradition of celebrating an array of pepper varieties and creative culinary uses continues with Abundance NC’s Pepperfest. Many years, Jones is in attendance, leading pepper taste tests.
Under the management of Jones, Piedmont Biofarms became the site of new research in plant breeding and seed production with the goal of producing regionally adapted seeds. Community members benefited from on-farm workshops, including seed-saving techniques and growing cool weather crops through the summer (season extension). Community members that became Community Supported Agriculture members of Piedmont Biofarms were able to enjoy fresh produce for 45 weeks out of the year.
After Doug Jones left Piedmont Biofarms to pursue other projects, a team of skilled farmers (interns with Doug Jones) became the new managers. Brett Evans, Will Carmines, and Geoff Seelen joined forces to manage the farm at 220 Lorax Lane. Evans and Carmines focused on growing flavorful, chemical free vegetables while Seelen headed the integration of monthly farm dinners. The farm continued to be managed using sustainable methods.The team has taken what they have learned at Piedmont Biofarms to start up Red Hawk Farm in Hillsborough, NC.
Where we are Now
Biofarm is a sustainable supplies and food distribution hub providing culinary ingredients and organic plant-based products for Triangle and Piedmont, NC area farmers, chefs, restaurants, and community. It is under the management of Carolina Ecofarms, LLC.
Biofarm has organically become a food and sustainable products supply hub for the Triangle & Piedmont of NC, connecting farmers, chefs and restaurants. Visit www.biofarm.org to learn about the Biofarm sustainable product line and about availability of sustainably grown ingredients.
The mission of Biofarm™ is to supply sustainable products to health-conscious entrepreneurs, while also providing a means for area agricultural producers, businesses, and households to maintain and expand sustainable practices. With this mission, Biofarm encourages resilience of the regional economy and influences business opportunity and growth.
Watching Piedmont Biofarms transform over the last ten years has been an inspiration to the new manager, Allen Jones. Jones has been involved in the development of The Plant on Lorax Lane and is continuing the Biofarm™ legacy that has become important to the community as an area landmark. Under Jones’ management the Biofarm™ is established to meet regional needs for sustainable food and supply items to chefs and restaurants in this growing area. Jones brings 20 years of experience in organic production and marketing in natural supply channels.
Currently, the Biofarm team is working to build new elements into the farm that will engage and educate our community. This includes a pollinator meadow surrounding a whimsical maze for children, a tea room, and new botanical and specialty crops. We are also involved with the process of earning Organic Certification. These activities are all fodder for our Blog, which we will be launching shortly.
Where we are Going
Chatham County is growing and Biofarm aims to meet the supply chain needs of the community as the demand for sustainably grown food and toxic-free supplies burgeons. The mission is to have infrastructure in place that will support a food chain system that increases access to environmentally responsible farm and restaurant supplies and sustainably grown, fresh, chemical-free food. Establishment of a food hub is the best way to ensure that the system is collaborative and meets multi-stakeholder and community needs. Biofarm will become a valuable resource for the food strategies of the community, local organizations, and businesses.
Community is important to us, and we intend to make Biofarm a place that draws the community in and offers a healthy space to learn, share ideas, and gain solace.