SUPPORT JEWISH FARMING IN THE SOUTH:
HELP ONE SOIL FARM BUILD OUR PERMANENT HOME IN CEDAR GROVE, NC
After 3 years of growing on leased land, and with the help of our local community, One Soil Farm just purchased our own piece of land in Cedar Grove, NC! This is truly a dream come true!
And now the real adventure begins: building a farm from scratch on an open field. We need your help to build our farm - a place where we can grow organic food for our JCSA and host our Southern Jewish community, providing life-changing vegetables, relationships, and experiences on land.
WHAT IS A JEWISH FARM? OUR VISION FOR ONE SOIL
(To hear the whole One Soil Farm origin story and all about Meredith's Jewish farming journey, listen to this episode of the Bethelians podcast!)
The mission of One Soil Farm is to grow vegetables for the Jewish community of Durham, NC, and to provide meaningful Jewish farming programming through classes and events on the farm.
Founded in 2018 by Meredith Cohen, One Soil has grown over the past 3 years to provide a JCSA program at Beth El Synagogue and the Levin JCC. In the 2021 season, our JCSA will grow to serve 50 families, and we plan to keep expanding each year as we are able to start growing on our new land!
We believe that knowing your farmer and putting your hands in the soil where your food is grown are life-changing and world-changing acts. We believe that as Jews, reconnecting to our agricultural heritage and having experiences on land are necessary parts of the healing work we need to do to build the world we’re dreaming of, in which all people are free and we can continue to sustain life on this planet. One Soil Farm will be a gathering place for our Southern Jewish community.
Our movement needs farmers. Our communities need places where we can rebuild our relationships with the natural world, and reckon with the history of the land in the places we call home. We are all One Soil.
WHO ARE WE?
Meredith and Molly’s farm twin origin story begins back in 2013, when we met as fellows at Adamah Farm and were assigned to our first chore together: schlepping carts full of heavy compost bins up a hill every morning at 7 am. We were thrilled. We sang the Rocky theme to each other as we trudged up the steepest part of the hill, feeling ourselves get stronger. On our final day of the chore, we stood atop the compost pile and read a Walt Whitman poem to the chickens. We didn’t know yet that we’d someday end up in NC together, building our own Jewish farm. But we did know right away that we were soil soul mates.
Meredith grew up in Hillsborough, NC, attending Beth El Religious School and Judea Reform for Midrasha. She learned to farm during the three years she spent living and working at Adamah Farm, where she fell in love with Jewish communal life and organic farming at the same time. She moved back to North Carolina in 2016 and worked at two incredible farms in the area - Elysian Fields Farm and South Wind Produce - before starting One Soil Farm in 2018.
Molly is originally from Los Angeles, CA and comes to One Soil Farm with 7 years of farm production experience and an educational background in soil science. She looks forward to cultivating a Jewish farm community here in Durham, NC.
HOW MUCH MONEY DO WE NEED, AND WHAT WILL WE USE IT FOR?
$36,000 is our initial goal, which will help us build the very first infrastructure we need to start growing food on our new land.
Infrastructure costs are hard to predict exactly – especially things like a well, for example, because you just don't know until they start digging how deep they'll have to drill. But we've priced out as much as we can without yet being on the land, and made the best guesses we can based on the experiences of other farmer friends who recently bought land in the area (yay Cedar Grove neighbors!). The money we raise will go first towards a driveway, a well, and a permanent deer fence. Depending on how lucky we get with digging a well, and how much that ends up costing, we also hope to use these funds for our next essentials: a cooler and a shed structure for our wash and pack station.
This won’t meet all of our capital needs for building infrastructure - we will also need to build a heated greenhouse on our land, and invest in a walk-behind tractor and mower. Every dollar that our community gives will go directly towards the essential infrastructure we need to start farming for you on our new land!
We could not have purchased this land without early fundraising support from our community. During November and December, we were able to raise over $11,000 from 26 early donors, including Beth El Synagogue - all of which went directly towards our down payment and closing costs on our new land. We are so grateful for the support of our One Soil family!