Ten years ago, John Soehner quit his job as an occupational therapy assistant, bought a tractor and learned to grow organic food.
Today he and his family grow more than 60 varieties of vegetables and raise roosters and pigs at Eco Farm, one of Orange County’s best known organic farms.
“We started farming because we needed money,” Soehner said. “Ten years later, we’re not driving around in Maseratis, but we make ends meet.”
What is a food desert?
A food desert is defined as a low-income area where a substantial amount of residents also have low access to a supermarket or large grocery store, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Why are some parts of Orange County considered a food desert?
There are five different areas of Orange County that are considered food deserts. They include an area running from the southern end of the University’s campus to Estes Drive, as well as an almost 6,000 person area of Hillsborough. These areas have both low-income residents and little access to major grocery stores.
Today, Chapel Hill will celebrate the importance of sustainable, local foods like Soehner’s during national Food Day.
Coordinators of Chapel Hill’s Food Day say they hope to spread knowledge of healthy food through a variety of events, including a farmers market in Polk Place.