Local Farm Teaches Others How To Grow Garden - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Local Farm Teaches Others How To Grow Garden


COLUMBIA, Tenn. - A mid-state farm pays people to work the fields and teaches them the tools to survive during the tough times.

Nine miles outside Leipers Fork, a couple goes back to the roots of farming, and back to the days when your hands and arms did the work.

"We're a little behind the times I suppose," says farmer Matthew Neal.

Matthew Neal and his wife Allison both have farming in their blood.

"I would be a fifth generation farmer," says Allison.

The lifelong passion has turned into the couple's business.

"I can remember being a youngster on the back of a plow without any shoes on just barefoot -feeling that cool moist soil roll over the plow and onto your feet," says Michael.

The Neals also teach JoJo Lorentson and a dozen others the art of farming.

"Getting some good honest dirt on your hands and to know where your food comes from is pretty cool," says Lorentson. "There will be a lot less money I have to spend at the Kroger on produce if I grow it myself."

In this tough economy, some drive for miles to work for food. The Neals pay workers with $20 in food and a $12 gas stipend for each day they show up.

"It's definitely music to their ears knowing they can leave and go home with something to eat after a good hard day's worth of work," says Michael.

At the end of the day, workers leave with food and the knowledge to grow their own.

"I think my house will be full of salads by the end of summer," says Lorentson. "If you can get your own scrap of land and you can manage to feed your family off of it, that's an accomplishment."

The Neals go home at the end of the day feeling like their farm just outside Leipers Fork has changed the world.

"I guess we do feel part of a movement," says Michael.

Arugula's Star of Neal Family Farms also delivers food to 80 families, and several local restaurants and grocery stores. 

For more information about the farm, click here.

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