The family on Tumbling Shoals Farm isn’t what you may think of as a traditional family, yet sitting in farmher Shiloh Avery’s living room with most members of what Shiloh likes to refer to as the Farm-ily, the connection and dynamic is undeniable. When navigating the intersection between land and people in sustainable agriculture, Shiloh stands firm in her belief that is starts with the people working on her farm.
“Taking care of our farmily is our first importance before we can even feed the community, (we are) trying to take care of the farmily and make sure everyone is happy and healthy… we can't do what we do, and we can't feed all the people without these people here”
Taking care of the Farmily means paying their workers fair wages. The economics of farming are a thin margin and sometimes consumers think farmers are price gouging, but at Tumbling Shoals, Shiloh guarantees that this is never the case. “It is a lot of super hard work and we do our very best to be as efficient as possible and to get the product to them as cheaply as we possibly we can. For some things that's just not cheap, some things cost a lot to grow or to pick.”
This weekend, when browsing at your local Farmer’s Market, keep in mind that the slight increase in price (when compared to products of a grocery store) is to ensure that farms are able to be sustainable and fair to the members of the farm working daily to bring you the products you want.
While farming is a lot of hard work, Shiloh reminds people that “you're coaxing life out of the soil with your hands, it's like, what is better than that!!”
Check out Tumbling Shoals at the Hickory and Watauga Farmer’s Markets and don’t forget to thank a local farmer for fostering life, health, and community.
Interview conducted by Ahna Robbins, Women in Agriculture Profile Project Intern
BRWIA PROFILE PROJECT
Each month we do our best to profile a Woman in Agriculture in our region. These women are diverse - they have come from a variety of backgrounds and include farmers, homesteaders, and activists. They exemplify the multitude of ways women are working to connect with and change our food system.
Female Farmer Profile Project
The BRWIA Profiles evolved out of the Female Farmer Profiles which can be found archived HERE.