In September of 2015 we happened to stumble across Bumgarner Farms on Instagram (@bumgarnerfarmsnc) and instantly reached out to the man on a mission, Will Bumgarner. Will had just started to farm his family's land and we felt immediately connected to his story. In 2016, Will provided our restaurants with nearly 1,000 pounds of arugula, 500 pounds of dino kale, and 300 pounds of cherry tomatoes. Throughout this process we both learned a tremendous amount. We faced the many challenges that pesticide-free farming provides...mostly in the form of bugs, deer, and heavy rain.
In late October we took our team out to Bumgarner Farms to harvest, get our hands dirty, and take Will's new tractor out for a spin (obviously our favorite part).
This is only the beginning of our partnership with Will and we are beyond pumped to support the local farming movement. We asked will to share a little bit about himself, his farm, and his plans for the future. Enjoy!
My name is Will Bumgarner and I am the owner/operator of Bumgarner Farms in Kittrell N.C. I started Bumgarner Farms in September of 2015. After working for other local farms in the area, Bumgarner Farms was born. My experience prior to my own farm was in the greenhouse and nursery industry. I came across farming at a young age. My family owned farmland and it I always enjoyed exploring the fields. When I was 11 years old I went help work in the summer months on a farm in our area. They grew basil, had a greenhouse, and delivered produce to restaurants in the Triangle. That early exposure is what drew me to farming. I had no idea that later in life I would choose farming as a way of life. I currently live on the farm with my fiance, Destinie and our daughter Scarlett. We don't have any full time employees so Destinie and I do all of the work needed to run a produce farm. My love for my family is also a reason we farm. Farming is a way of life and it has forwarded me the opportunity to work close to home and be a part of my daughter's life, as well as provide the healthiest food possible for us.
Brief Farm History:
Our farm has been in my family for 6 generations and was aquired in the late 1800's. Traditionally the farm was used to produce cotton, tobacco, and soybeans. My great grandfather farmed these crops until he retired in the late 70's. It was at that point that he began farming vegetables on a small scale for the family and neighbors. After his death the farm was rented out to local farmers who grew conventional row crops. In 2015 I decided it was time to make use of the land I had before me and it was then that Bumgarner Farms was born.
My future goals as a small farmer are vast. My goal is to grow the healthiest, safest fruits and vegetables possible for the people within our community. I want Bumgarner Farms to be a brand name synonymous with healthy living and the safest source for produce available. I want to educate future generations on farming and our local food system and help build a better community.