Breezy Acres Farm is a two-family homestead and market farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Joe and Kristina Israel own and operate the farming business, and are grateful to lease the land from their parents/in-laws/neighbors, Ben and Maxine Israel.Here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about us and our farm:
Q: Did you grow up farming?
A: No, neither one of us has a family farming background. Joe’s parents and grandparents had big gardens growing up, and he remembers fondly the old folks putting up corn and chow chow, and telling stories while they broke the beans. Kristina grew up in the suburbs and took up an interest in farming in her late teens/early twenties. His professional background is in Motorsports; she works as a volunteer coordinator with a local non-profit.
Q: Why did you decide to go into farming?
A: After years of “working for the man,” Joe realized that, if he wanted to be his own boss, it was now or never. What began as a dream they hatched in front of the wood stove one winter in Vermont became Breezy Acres Farm just a few years later.
Q: When are you going to be certified organic?
A: The short answer to that question is, when we can afford to be certified organic. Until then we will adhere to organic practices for pest control and soil inputs.
Q: Who does all the work?
A: Joe does the farming, and Kristina works a full-time job, while managing the “business side” of the farm. You will see both of them at the Farmers’ Market.
Q: How many acres do you farm?
A: Currently there are 3 acres in tillage, with 1.5 in production. This is the most we can reasonably expect our one, full-time farmer to manage.
Q: What all do you grow?
A: Being a four season market farm, we run the gamut. In spring the rows are sprouting lettuces, radishes, greens, peas and root crops. In the summer we grow beans, tomatoes, melons, sweet corn, cucumbers, peppers, culinary herbs… the list goes on! In fall we transition back to the cool-weather crops like kale, and harvest the storage crops, like beets and carrots. We keep farming through the winter, offering up nutrient-dense salad and cole crops to customers at the winter markets.
Q: Do you hire people to help do all this?
A: We do most of the work ourselves, with volunteer help from our parents (who are all retired). Our son also chips in, and it’s amazing to see him work alongside us in the field and at the market.
Will the day come when we need to hire help? Maybe it will but, if and when it does, we will hire people we know from the community.
If you have questions for the farmers, send them our way! Use the contact form below: