“One thing I’d say about White Oak Pastures- it’s more than just a job- it’s like a family,” says Cedric Jones.
“I’d still be doing the same thing if I was the only person on earth”, says Graham Phillips, our Egg Production Manager, about his choice to be a farmer. “A lot of my interests come back to farming for the environment and farming for flavor. I see the two as being fundamentally intertwined- you don’t get a quality product by not supporting the environment”.
“Damn, that's a nice bumper”. It was a rainy, muddy, cold weekend in December 2007. Will Harris had just finished showing Brian Sapp around the farm, which, at that point, Brian describes as “just feeding cattle and the plant was a concrete floor”. Brian’s lifelong passion for fabrication led him to craft replacement bumpers as a hobby. When Will kicked the bumper on Brian’s 2004 Chevy pickup, his eyes “got big as half dollars”. Will then told Brian, “You may never strike an arc on this farm, but I know from that bumper that I want you to work for me.” Will could tell from how well the bumper was made that Brian would put effort and hard work into everything he did.
If you visit our General Store in Bluffton you’ll notice our leather workshop tucked in the back corner. Our leather crafter Alena works here daily and has hand-made almost every leather product on our shelves. Alena grew up in the Ukraine and spent most of her childhood in her grandmother’s garden. There she developed a deep connection with agriculture and the natural world.
As we kick off the Fall season of our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, we are excited to introduce you to one of our organic garden managers, Mary Bruce! We love the way Mary involves herself in so many different functions at White Oak Pastures: she’s also a leather craftswoman, a biodiesel chemist, and she oversees our pastured rabbit and honeybee programs. She is smart, engaged, and always has great ideas for making improvements on the farm. Meet Mary, and catch up on what she’s up to this Fall!