This month's member spotlight is the inspiring, Melinda Brown, owner and operator of Never Ending Farm. Melinda farms 10 acres in Vilas where she raises pigs to sell to small-scale pork producers. She got her first pig when someone left a pig in a gas station as a joke. The owner of the gas station did not know what to do, so he called Melinda. She helped catch the pig and took it home with her where she raised it. That was her first pig, and from then on she started raising better quality pigs. Melinda also grows and cans nearly all her own vegetables. She jokingly describes her canned food "almost like fast food, but it's good food."
Melinda is the recipient of BRWIA's Direct-to-Farmer and Mary Boyer Sustainable Food and Agriculture Grant. She explains that "without the grants that I received from Blue Ridge Women in Ag, I would not have been able to continue my farming on the level that I do." She appreciates how BRWIA promotes workshops, does farm tours throughout the year, and all the resources and knowledge they offer on different aspects of farming and gardening.
She considers herself a self-taught farmer and believes it's important to encourage people to simplify their lifestyles and to (re)learn how to cook. Melinda is passionate about creating a local food system that supports a healthy community. She encourages people to start a garden even if it's tiny. Melinda is thankful for the support she has received from Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, and we are grateful for the leadership she brings to the High Country!