Raleigh City Farm inspires fresh thinking

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Eating local is becoming a trend in the Triangle, and one local nonprofit is working to change the way you eat with urban farming.

Just off of bustling Blount Street lies a piece of land rich in soil. On Monday, hands were busy weeding, watering, and digging to grow fresh fruits and vegetables that will likely show up on your plate at a nearby restaurant.

Chris Rumbley, the CEO and President of Raleigh City Farm, is passionate about food and inspiring a new generation of farmers. Right now the average age of a farmer in Wake County is 56 years old, and he believes it's time to change that.

"There's this huge gap right now that we're going to have to fill at some point in growing new farmers, and transitioning some of this old farmland back into the hands of newer farmers," Rumbley said.

That's why he encourages the community to come out and get their hands dirty.

"They become more likely to eat fresh vegetables because they have touched them or been a part of growing them in some fashion, and so more likely to support these farmers," he said.

Locals are excited about seeing it on restaurant menus, too. Eschelon Hospitality is one of the groups that purchases the local, organic food from the farm. Their staff raked and shoveled in blistering heat to give back to the organization that provides so much to them.

Marketing Director Tara Zechini was one of the many helping out.

"The restaurants love buying fresh and local produce," Zechini said. "I think everyone wants to enjoy food that's grown in their backyard. They know that it's good, it's fresh, it came from the ground, it's not mass produced, it's not from far away or bad for you."

"By working together, we can create a list that has more variety on it, that has more volume on it, that has more consistency to it, so when there is a drought or when somebody gets pest pressure, we have other growers that can continue to fill those gaps and we can serve those customers," Rumbley said.

Together they not only serve the community, but also try to sew the seed of change in our minds.

For more information on how you can help or volunteer, visit Raleighcityfarm.com

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