The Alston-Degraffenried House, a national historic site, is on the farm and was built in 1810. Because of this long history, Harland’s Creek Farm focuses on native and heirloom varieties of plants. Many of the flower bouquets they make could have been in someone’s parlor in the 1800s.
When Judy Lessler first moved there in the 1970’s, kudzu covered the yard and fields and was growing onto the porch of the house. After clearing, she discovered an old fruit and flower garden to the east of the house. In the fall of 2001, she built a parterre on the site of this old garden, using a plan that was inspired by drawings of 18th century gardens. Flowers and decorative shrubs are grown in the parterre.
Today, Judy, Erasmo and Rene have 5 acres under production and are divided into three plots that have been opened successively over time since 2001. They grow our own transplants. Soil amendments include compost, feather meal, rock phosphate, sulfate of potash, bone meal, lime, or manure. Mulching and cover crops are used to build the soil. Pest management includes 6-8 foot fences to keep deer out, row-covers and flash tape to deter birds and rabbits, and occasionally we use OMRI approved substances for control of pests. Post-harvest handling consists of cold storage in an on farm walk in cooler. Flowers are conditioned using either Vita Products, Inc. or their own on farm mixture using substances that are compliant with the National Organic Program Standards.
As well as selling at the Saturday and Wednesday markets, Harland’s Creek Farm offers a CSA pick-up at each of these locations. These CSAs are operated with other farmers who sell at the Durham Farmers’ Market. Harland’s Creek Farm is certified organic.