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Meet Farmer Cecilia Redding of Down 2 Earth Farms

Farmer Cecilia Redding of Down 2 Earth Farms in Rougemont, N.C.--just north of Durham

Farmer Cecilia Redding of Down 2 Earth Farms in Rougemont, N.C.–just north of Durham

After a 25-year career in the food and beverage industry, Cecilia Redding swapped out her office for 143 acres of land she bought in Rougemont, N.C., and began a new career:  farming. She’s putting down new roots at Down 2 Earth Farms (D2E) as part of a life-long desire to farm.

This former dairy farm a little north of Durham has 8.5 acres fenced for vegetable production, and right now they are farming on about 5 acres, growing more than 80 varieties of produce. Download this brochure to see the farm’s 8-year crop rotation plan and what is growing when.

Cecilia’s Biological and Agriculture Engineer degree has been put to good use. Four years into farming, Cecilia is happy. “I absolutely love it. People say it’s hard work farming, and it is, but having a job where you get to work outside and work around all this science–there’s a lot of science in farming and engineering in the equipment—it’s a great challenge,” farmer Cecilia said. “And the people in farming are just really nice and very passionate about what they’re doing and all about helping each other.”

bat nurseriesFun Fact: Bat Nurseries

About 100 acres of Cecilia’s land is in forest cover to protect wildlife. D2E Farms is also home to two bat nurseries, where bats go when their young are born in July and August. The nurseries are large heavy boxes with different compartments placed about 15-20 feet high in a tree and near the pond. “We have one south-facing and one north-facing box. If it gets too hot inside the south-facing nursery, the bats can move their young to the north-facing nursery.”

Why the bat nurseries? Cecilia said she was initially helping her niece with a science project. In the end, her niece pursued a different project, but Cecilia was hooked. “Bats are great for eating insects!”

Farm to Child Care

Down 2 Earth Farms is one of the farms involved in Farm to Child Care efforts in Wake County, funded by the John Rex Endowment. AHA partners Wake County SmartStart and Wake County Cooperative Extension are working together with AHA to develop a mutually beneficial system for child care providers and small- to mid-sized farms in the region and NC produce suppliers where child care facilities can serve healthy NC grown produce at meals and snacks. Farm to Child Care is currently in the first of three years of systems development work. Visit D2E Farms online at www.d2efarms.com and follow on Facebook

 

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