My destination is a 600-acre retreat in the foothills of the Uwharrie Mountains — just outside Norwood in Stanly County, about 45 miles east of Charlotte. Most vehicles on the highway are log trucks. The rolling hills are thick with pine and hardwoods. Cattle loll by hayricks, and calves frisk and butt in roadside pastures.
Cotton’s still grown in the North Carolina Piedmont, along with crops for livestock. But essential topsoil is eroding away. Conservationists now say this area has some of the poorest soil in North Carolina.
By Ross Howell Jr. • Photographs By Amy Freeman