We found ourselves on the Nolichucky River bank in the cold of early January, and there we found the farm.
Three years ago we turned over the dirt of just 5 acres in Limestone, TN at the confluence of Little Limestone Creek and the Nolichucky River, and there began our River Creek Farm. We produced enough food for our seasonal feature menu at our first location of The Main St Pizza Co in Johnson City and distributed farm shares to about 20 members in our first year. Now as we head in to our fourth season, it's obvious that our commitment to local, sustainable food sources is an initiative supported by our community....We maxed out at over 160 members in the height of the summer of 2016 and now have found our footing with our second restaurant location in Kingsport, TN! As restauranteurs and now experienced farmers, we've witnessed our community craving higher quality food choices and supporting sustainable changes to our food system. The growth we've experienced as we've featured responsibly-produced food in the restaurant and CSA speaks to the difference our customers are tasting.
We choose to farm as a sustainable solution for increasing the amount of local, seasonal foods consumed by our community. We grow & distribute year round to increase accessibility to freshly harvested, cleanly produced foods; to reduce fossil fuels required for long distance transportation; to keep sales within our local economy; to support independence from a cross-continental food supply chain; to support small farmers and businesses; to encourage the use of sustainable growing practices over conventional methods; to improve the nutritional value of the food on our plates.
We believe in organic methods and follow organic practice on our farm, and scrutinize the products we source from other farmers to the same standards; however, we do not intend to seek organic certification while controversial conventional methods are still subsidized. We rely on natural solutions such as row covers, diatomaceous earth, hand weeding, crop rotation, worm compost tea, and mulching to deal with the regular growing pains of harlequin bugs and Johnson grass. We rely on manual labor for production instead of motorized large equipment.
RIVER FARM limestone, tn
The River Farm is on a special, private piece of land with historical significance: an archaeological dig in the 1970s unearthed pottery sherds and animal bone fragments indicating warm weather settlements throughout the Late Middle Woodland Period, more than a thousand years ago [The Nelson Site]. What was special about the land then hasn't been lost; it's still wild out there....and it's quiet out there. While this land has provided for the bulk of our production, we're working the off season towards securing new farm land for the 2017 growing season!
CITY FARM johnson city, tn
Our half-acre fenced in lot and distribution point is conveniently located directly adjacent to the newly revitalized Founder's Park, a downtown public green space developed for flood easement of Brush Creek in Johnson city, and we're water front again! Our main pickup point is easy to access with parking right on our property And even though the entire lot is paved, we're still growing, right where you can check it out! Come for your pick up, and see what we've added to the garden...We'll be growing some specialty items and experimental crops right here in the city, on land that otherwise couldn't be worked, with above-ground growing methods including straw bale gardening and root aeration containers.
Indoors you'll find the glow from our ongoing experiments in hydroponics! We hope to gain some expertise using organic nutrients from our practice on both an NFT (nutrient film technique) gutter system and a drip system, and commit to a large scale hydroponic grow in the future to provide more variety in local food options through the off season. We've successfully produced leafy greens, herbs, and fruiting vegetables in our indoor hydroponic systems year round.