One of the most anticipated Mentor Hikes is always a visit to the GRP Farm. Whether it’s April or August, it makes no difference because there is literally always something amazing happening. Big picture or macro, the flourishing of all sorts of life, is alone, something to ponder. We learn that sometimes you need to look a bit closer to fully understand the inner workings of our world.
Today, we ventured out into the heat of the summer sun, to enjoy some fresh herbs, green beans and “wizard fingers” Who knew wizard fingers were so tasty and nutritious? After a stroll to visit “Cobba the Hut,” one of the Farm’s handmade pizza ovens(and also home to hundreds of white bees), we made our way through the farm, stopping here and there to absorb knowledge and wisdom from Farmer Phil and the surrounding landscape that he and Farmer Rachel have built over the last 7 years. It’s easy to smile and laugh after Phil tells us that there once was a Camper who just happened to jest, “where are all the exploding plants?” Well, little did that Camper know that Farmer Phil had just that exact plant. They by no means catch fire, but there are a few different species that spread their seeds in what looks like a small scale explosion, when slightly squeezed. So much to learn! For the grande finale, we found ourselves rubbing bellies of tiny pot-belly pigs and feeding what seemed like an endless stream of hungry goats. Beyond the adventures of the Farm, what’s truly inspiring is the work that goes into such an endeavor. There are rows upon rows of fresh crops, an orchard with apples, blueberries and even pink lemonade blueberries. The barnyards features a plethora of goats, pigs and chickens. Did I mention the honey bees? Among the hundreds of natural pollinators that live in this part of North Carolina, the GRP Farm also has a thriving honey bee population, which helps all of the plants successfully reproduce, year after year. There’s much, much more that the Farm has to offer, but for now, check out the photos from today and dreams of flowers, honey and fresh veggies, by the handful!
Story and photos by Brandon S. Marshall