The land for D2E was purchased from the McKee family in 2011. The family had a dairy farm and many of the original buildings and home are still standing on the property. Most of the land (100 acres) is in forest cover which is managed under a Forest Stewardship Plan developed with support from the Triangle Land Conservancy and David Halley, a NC Registered Forester. Another 33 acres are currently being farmed for vegetables, fruit, shiitake mushrooms, and hay. The remaining 10 are in infrastructure and pollinator areas. D2E was certified organic by CCOF in 2015.
The first year (2011 – 2012) was focused on building for the future. We built an irrigation pond and system for irrigating the produce, a deer-fence around 8 acres for produce production and a barn. All the local businesses and individuals that helped with the projects were excellent (you can see many of them in our pictures)! We started growing produce in Spring 2012.
For year-round production, we built a greenhouse in 2014, acquired 2 high tunnels in 2015, and will acquire more high tunnels in 2017.
The farm is owned and farmed by Cecilia Redding. Cecilia became an Biological and Agricultural Engineer (BS , MS) with hopes to farm someday. After 25 years in the food and beverage industries and living in various parts of the country (and traveling internationally (which is why she did a Global MBA at UNC, Chapel Hill)), she is finally realizing her dream. Her husband and 2 daughters provide considerable support and inspiration to the farm. She loves to be with family and friends, biking, swimming, running (doing a few triathlons every year for the fun of it), water skiing, or traveling.
John Dorsey is Cecilia’s brother. John joined the team initially to help get the farm up and running. He previously spent over 30 years as an international business attorney, much of it living and working overseas (mainly Asia). He is always in a good mood and ready to do whatever needs to be done at the moment. John developed our sales and marketing approach and systems last year. This year he focused on improving our back-office functions, prepared us for being organic certified, and got us all excited about growing and selling edamame!
Rosa Modesto and Adela Camarillo
Rosa and Adela began working for Down 2 Earth Farms in the Summer of 2014. Rosa is very organized and exhibits a great deal of critical thinking. This has helped us continue to shape our greenhouse and farming operations. Adela's strong work ethic and positive attitude are infectious, and helps us all make it through the toughest work days. Rosa and her family live in Roxborro, while Adela and her family live in Hurdle Mills. We feel very fortunate to have Rosa and Adela as part of our team at Down 2 Earth Farms!
Orlan Johnson is much more than a business advisor to Down 2 Earth Farms. He is our master, dare devil tractor driver. If we need a tough task done on the tractor, we call Orlan. He must have learned this skill while growing up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. He spent a career as an entrepreneur starting companies in the biotech industry and then as an executive career consultant. Now he spends his free time as a woodturner and metal sculptor selling his art at a couple of local galleries.