Eva Duckett stepped back in time this summer. Her family grew hay and tobacco for most of her life in Big Sandy Mush, North Carolina, at what is now Full Sun Farm.
Full Sun Farm was a stop on ASAP’s Farm Tour, and Duckett had a chance to walk around her old family land. She says it was an emotional experience. “There were things like trees when my dad planted them they were this tall and now they’re huge trees,” she remembers.
As the landscape changes, so does farming in the Southern Appalachians. Crops like burley tobacco have gone by the wayside and diversified vegetable farms like Full Sun Farm are on the rise. “We saw so many things there in their garden. They had beautiful lettuce and it was just amazing to me to see everything” she says.
She’s seen more people come to the area to start new vegetable and flower farms. “It’s like a regeneration of the mountains,” she says. “Everybody wants to be here.”
The rise of organic farming is a big improvement, she says, from the methods her family once used. But the fundamentals of farming, hard work and respect for the family land, remain the same. “This just all feels like home to me,” she says. “It’s nice to see that people are taking care of everything.”
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