We started our involvement with the local foods movement in Carrboro in 2008 when we began to develop our backyard urban garden. In 2009, we founded the Baldwin Park Community Garden in our neighborhood near downtown. After both of us had participated in the Breeze Incubator Farm courses, we began to realize that the community garden was only the first step. We began to fully realize our dream of becoming farmers in April 2011 when we founded Waterdog Farms on a parcel of land adjacent to the Flat River in Hurdle Mills, NC, just north of Durham. Since then, we’ve been busy working on building the soil, fencing, and starting to farm in stages on the old pastureland that surrounds the farmhouse.
Curious name for a farm, isn't it? The farm is named after the Neuse River Waterdog, a species that is endemic to the Neuse River basin and its tributaries, including the Flat. But it could just as equally apply to our lovely dog, Juno, who enjoys playing in the river when she isn't patrolling the perimeter of the beds for critters.
We practice sustainable farming here on the farm. To us, that means no pesticides, herbicides, and reducing outside inputs and use of plastics as much as possible. Organic certification requires that the land be pesticide and herbicide free for three years. Since we have only owned the land for two, we are considered transitioning to organic and will officially apply for organic certification for our farm in April 2014.