I’ve always been fascinated by individuals I encounter whose families have a deep heritage and rooted connection to a specific geographic region. My mother’s grandmother was born in Italy and my father’s great-grandparents were born in Ireland, so I don’t have a deep familial connection to a certain place here in the United States. Mike Kirk lives on a piece of land that has been in his family since the Revolutionary War (1775-1783). This land is now farmed as Cane Creek Farms, and is located right off of Bradshaw Quarry Rd in Efland, NC, and Mike is the farm manager. As I write about the connection to this parcel of land in North Carolina, I realize I cannot discount the fact that before the 18th century, this land was home to Native American tribes who were violently uprooted from the place they were deeply rooted and connected with, and that there are connections to certain places around the world deeper than I will ever know.
The 85 acres of Cane Creek Farms operate with only three full time employees. The other full time residents of this land include pigs, chickens, horses, and the retired goats from Boxcarr Handmade Cheese. Through the sleepy winter months you’ll still find kale, collard greens, and salad greens poking up through the earth, while garlic and onions sleep underground. During the busier spring and summer months, interns will be helping plant and harvest strawberries, blueberries, asparagus, tomatoes, and flowers, to name just a few. Though Cane Creek is not a certified organic farm, they follow organic practices and only spray their crops when absolutely necessary.
If you ever stumble upon Mike’s path, you’ll find a warm, open, unassuming person. The energy of Cane Creek Farms reflects the welcoming nature of its manager. There is a lovely peacefulness that radiates from this farm. The ripples have been felt by local hunters who post up on the property during hunting season, by a bee farmer from New Hampshire who travels the 800 miles to bring his 30 bee hives to Cane Creek for the summer, and all those who make the quick stop at the bottom of the Cane Creek driveway to gather fruits and veggies from the “honor system” farm stand.
We’re serving Cane Creek Farms eggs for breakfast right now at the Saxapahaw General Store, and you can find lots of their produce here at the store throughout the year.