When Seth Salmon graduated from Appalachian State in 2011, he had no idea he would use his degree in Renewable Energy to return to his roots. Sustainable energy practices were a natural foundation for him to bring home to his family farm in Weaverville, applying his knowledge to enhance his family’s already sustainable farming practices. Facing the harsh realities of industrialized farming, Seth has always realized the value of the small family farm, and how regional food production utilizes far less resources, hence less energy to bring high quality produce to market. He applied for an Aquaponics grant through the Gold Leaf Foundation, and embarked on the next phase of his journey: To supply our region with high quality, farm fresh produce while reducing the environmental impact of food production.
“We never expected him to come back,” said Alan Salmon, Seth’s father. “It wasn’t like it was a part of the master family plan. We wanted him to make his own decisions about what he wanted to do in life and develop his own ethos.” But it has worked out beautifully.
“It’s a blessing to be able to live and work with your family every single day and actually get along,” says Seth.
Seth has recently added a new venture in an effort to expand his CSA and increase interest in organic vegetables and farming. Volunteers come out to the farm for several hours a week to help with farm chores, receiving payment in vegetables. Seth gets his Farm Strong Crew to help him with all aspects of production and upkeep. Volunteers have the joy of learning sustainable farming practices, and are able to experience the process from seed to plate. “This is a stroke of genius. It’s a new idea we never thought of,” Betty says.
“I don’t like seeing farmland turn into houses. People need places to live, but they need farmland more than that. I never thought if I didn’t go back and farm it would be lost to houses. But now, it’s a good reason to be here, and if I can serve as any inspiration to people who have the opportunity to go back to their family farm and make something of it, that’s great.”
Wildwood Herbal offers organic plants, flowers and herb starts which are available at local groceries and the Asheville City Market. Also offered is a year-round weekly CSA for $20/week with a pay-as-you-go model.
Want to be part of the Farm Strong Crew? Please contact Seth Salmon: firstname.lastname@example.org