Stories from the Ridge

Supporting local farmers: A community affair 

On the stormy Saturday evening of June 24, winds whispered through the trees and the scent of rain filled the air. The scene was set for an unforgettable evening, as we delved into discussions surrounding “know your farmer, know your food.”  

As Carla took to the stage to kick off day 2 of Juneberry Jams, her words resonated with the spirit of the community, highlighting the stories and hard work behind the food we consume. With a message of the vital importance of cultivating connections with our food and the farmers behind it, we were motivated to adopt a more holistic way of living.  Watch the fireside chat here.

Know your farmer, know your food 

As Carla asked the audience to imagine a world where the produce aisle of our grocery store transforms into a world of stories. Each tomato, each leafy green, would bear not just a label but a history of the hands that nurtured it, the soil from which it drew life, and the journey it took to reach us. 

“Know your farmer, know your food,” Carla emphasized, her voice filling the room.  In today’s fast-paced world, it’s all too easy to lose touch with the origins of our food and the hardworking farmers who bring it to our tables. We find convenience in the supermarket aisles, but it comes at a costa disconnection from the land, the farmers, and the deep nourishment of the food we consume. 

When you buy from a local farmer, not only do you get fresher produce and support the local economy, but you also reduce your carbon footprint. Farmers who use regenerative farming practices enhance the quality of the soil, produce nutrient-dense food, and improve the overall health of the community. 

Food as medicine: A powerful connection 

We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” Carla took it a step further by explaining how food is a powerful tool for our overall health and well-being. When we consume nutrient-dense food packed with vitamins and minerals, we fuel our bodies to function at their best. It’s not just about individual nutrients either, it’s about the synergy of the entire plate. A salad rich in leafy greens, healthy fats, and protein-rich nuts provides a combination of nutrients that work together to support our energy levels, brain function, and gut health. 

On the flip side, when we rely on processed, packaged foods high in sugar and unhealthy fats, we put our bodies at risk for chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. It’s clear that the food we eat has a direct impact on our health, and by supporting regenerative farmers, we can nourish our bodies and communities. 

Journey towards a healthier planet and stronger communities 

Food isn’t just something that we eat to satisfy our hunger. It’s an essential part of our health, our well-being, and our community. By getting to know our farmers, eating nutrient-dense food, and supporting regenerative farming practices, we create a healthier food system for everyone.  

We are tackling a uniquely inspired challenge here at Juneberry Ridge. We are learning, training, and practicing new methods to regenerate our farmland and  making changes that are radically divergent from how the land has been managed over the last hundred years. It is hard work to instill new practices, but what we do here only makes its true impact if we can involve our communities in the process and pass on the learnings.  

Our hour with Carla flew by. As if on cue, the sun burst through the clouds and the air filled with the soul-stirring tunes of our opening band, Ashes and Arrows. Our food trailer was a feast for the senses, with mouthwatering aromas wafting all around us. And we eagerly anticipated a dazzling performance by our headliner, Landslide.  

On Day 2, we saw our biggest crowd yet and as we looked around, we couldn’t help but feel grateful. Juneberry Jams pulsated with life, energy, and community.  

The world is changing, and it starts with us letting nature lead—one neighbor, one farm, and one community at a time. 

Inviting you to explore regenerative agriculture. 

At Juneberry Ridge, we believe in fostering connections, facilitating discussions, and nurturing a healthier planet—all interwoven themes that Carla St. Germain has championed, inspiring us all to strive for a more regenerative future.  

As we move ahead, we invite you to explore the world of regenerative agriculture and consider the impact of buying local, getting to know your farmers, and choosing nutrient-dense, regeneratively grown food. We’re all in this together on our journey towards a healthier planet and stronger communities. 

About Juneberry Jams

Juneberry Jams was made possible by title sponsor and community partner, Uwharrie Bank, and was produced in partnership with Tosco Music. 

At Juneberry Ridge, we are committed to fostering connections with our community. We share our passion for regenerative agriculture and work in unison with our community toward a healthier planet. And often we connect with our community at local farmer’s markets.  

Through these meaningful interactions, we first spoke with Carla St. Germain. Not only is she the dedicated Market Manager of the Sandhills Farmers Market but is also a kindred spirit who shared our unwavering dedication to educating and empowering our community about the importance of knowing our farmers and the origins of our food. With her deep understanding of the intricate web that connects farmers and consumers, we wanted to learn more from her.  

About Carla St. Germain, Market Manager at Sandhills Farmer’s Market in Pinehurst

Carla St. Germain is the Market Manager of the Sandhills Farmer’s Market. She has devoted her career to fostering deep and meaningful connections between farmers and consumers.

Carla’s pivotal role as the Market Manager has positioned her right at the heart of the ever-evolving exchange between farmers and consumers, where she helps to build meaningful connections among those who cultivate the land and those who savor its bounties. 

About the Author
Mike Woronuk

Mike has led our marketing efforts at Juneberry Ridge since January of 2020. Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada—he's often found calling Juneberries by their Canadian name, "Saskatoons". His family has farmed wheat, canola, and barley for over 100 years, but he owes his introduction to regenerative agriculture to Juneberry Ridge.


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