Harland's Creek Farm-Certified Organic

Organic--Historic--Enduring

Twitter linkHarland's Creek Farm is a certified organic farm located four miles west of Pittsboro NC.  It is the site of the Alston-Degraffenreid house, a national historic site. Our flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruits are certified organic.  We also have eggs from pasture raised hens that are fed an all-grain diet that is antibiotic free.

We sell our products at the Durham Farmers Market on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Visit the market's web site for more information. LoMo Market is also carrying our products.  LoMo Market moves from place to place in the Triangle area.  To find a location, go to the LoMo web site.  Many of our products are sold through CSAs.  See the CSA tabs for more information and procedures on enrolling.   And we also sell to local restaurants, mainly: Poole's Downtown Diner in Raleigh, Tazza Kitchen in Raleigh, and Pizzeria Toro in Durham.  These are the all topnotch places with excellent chefs. We are particularly in awe of Ashley Christensen who leads a great team of chefs in multiple sites.

If you are in Pittsboro,  restaurants that have local food we love are: Small B&B  Cafe, Oakleaf  Restaurant, and Angelina's Kitchen.  They are less likely to have our food, but you might see us eating there. 

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History. The Alston-Degraffenreid house was built in 1810 and the farm has a long history.  There is a 53 acre historic site surrounding the farm. We are dedicated to maintaining this site for future generations.

Alston-Degraffenreid House

When Judy and her family first moved into the Alston-Degraffenreid house in the early 70s, kudzu covered the yard and had begun to grow up on the porch. After her husband did some clearing, they  discovered old orchards, flower gardens, and fields. In the fall of 2001 we built a parterre at the site of an old flower garden and started returning the fields to food production.  Judy's husband died in 2002; all five children have grown up and have their own families; and, with the children all raised, Judy now raises vegetables, flowers, and chickens.

Farming Practices. We have five acres under production including a one acre poultry pasture.  We rotate the 3-quarter-acre  main summer garden over a three areas and grow cover crops on the other two areas. Another 3/4 area plot is intensively farmed with crops both in spring and fall. Soil amendments include compost, green sand,  mined phosphates, feather meal, and other products approved by the National Organic Program (NOP). Mulching, row covers, flame weeding, and landscape cloth help control weeds and pests. We have deer fences and  a Jack Russell terrier who pursues the groundhogs. All our flowers are conditioned using NOP approved materials. 

You can buy directly from us.  Please send an e-mail to hcffarmers@gmail.com  or call us at 919-542-4607 for more information.


 

 

 

Cooking--Farming--Thinking

Plants Respond to Attacks from Herbivores

Posted by Judy Lessler :: Tuesday, May 26 :: 9:37am

Recent research on plants has elucidated their multiple defense mechanisms. Plants have physical structures that protect them against herbivores. One of my favorite are glandular trichomes which “secrete secondary metabolites including flavonoids, terpenoids, and alkaloids that can be poisonous, repellent, or trap insects and other organisms, thus forming a combination of structural and chemical defense.”

Plants respond to attacks by herbivores by creating more of these little organelles. Scientists know this is happening by examining the numbers of trichomes before and after an insect attack. They have studied both trees (gray willows and gray alders) and herbaceous plants (wild radish and pepper grass). The range of increase is usually between 25 to 100 percent; however, induction of 5 to 10 times as many trichomes has been observed.  

Trichomes have important social and economic effects on our society. THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana is secreted by trichomes. Consequently, if you search for trichomes on the web you will find many articles on how to increase the number of trichomes on cannabis plants.

This fact raises interesting evolutionary questions. For example, did cannabis survive and flourish because the plants wigged-out herbivores or did they survive because gardeners embraced them due to them chilling-out farmers and gardeners.

 

Quote from: War, Abdul Rashid, et.al. (2012) “Mechanisms of Plant Defense against Insect Herbivores” Plant Signaling & Behavior 7:10, 1306-1320; October 2012 

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The farmers who grow your food and flowers

Judy started HCF.  She develops meal plans for the CSAs, deliveries to restaurants, and writes our blog. You can meet her most weeks at the Durham Farmers Market on Wednesday and Saturday.

Erasmo worked part time on the farm for years and then came full time in 2011.  You can meet him at the Saturday Durham Farmers' market on alternate Saturdays.  He is active in all aspects of the farm and is our main tractor guy.

Martin at the Durham Farmers' MarketMartin also worked part-time before starting full time in 2011.  He is the main man at the Wednesday Durham Farmers Market.

Rene with children posing in front or his houseRene has been full time on the farm since 2012.  He works on all aspects of the farm and does a lot of deliveries. This is Rene with two of his children in front of his house.

We are a great team.

Where to buy our organic food

You can get our food by:

Visiting one of these local restaurants:

Pittsboro restaurants that have local food we love are: