The Independence of a Family Farm

I love wide open spaces, North Carolina places and meeting new faces – so I jumped at that chance to make the trip to Lazy O Farm in Johnston County, NC.

Tami and David Thompson were kind enough to invite us for a visit at the same time as Laura Rogers from the North Carolina Soybean Producers Association. Laura stops in from time to time when school groups come to the farm – she brings an array of visual aids to illustrate all the ways our lives are touched by the amazing soybean – on this occasion we lucked out and one of those demos featured her soy smoothie making skills!

Here’s her recipe:

1 cup Silk SoyMilk
¼ cup seedless grapes
¼ cup peaches
¼ cup mangos
¼ cup pineapples
¼ cup strawberries

While walking and talking with Tami and David I found out their farm is a sixth generation family farm – in 1989 the Thompson’s made the decision to transition to agritourism. You can tell they’ve taken the endeavor of teaching the next generation about farms and farming seriously – but the kids don’t know that – they’re learning a ton and having a ball while doing so – I certainly did! Farmers repurpose and recycle – the Thompson’s have done so and made art meet agriculture – they painted the interior of an old trailer to mimic the feeling of being underground and surrounded the inside with soil facts and North Carolina crops that grow underground – a fun and functional learning tool. Did you know that it takes about 500 years to form one inch of topsoil? Me neither.

In keeping with everything the Thompson’s are doing – The North Carolina Soybean Producers Association built a kiosk at Lazy O – the education from each presentation carries over and we learn, “Herbicide-resistant soybeans enable farmers to control weeds without disturbing the soil. Biotechnology has helped farmers reduce CO2 emissions by 58 billion pounds. That’s the same as removing 11.9 million cars from the road each year.” Even elementary school children can comprehend that impact.

photo courtesy NC Soy

photo courtesy NC Soy

In the fall Lazy O has a millet maze that’s just the right height for young people – the seeds have been planted and this Fourth of July holiday weekend as we celebrate our nation’s independence – the Thompson’s will be busy graphing and cutting – getting that maze prepped – because like Tami said, “on a family farm – that’s just what you do.”

It was a delight to see this family teaching the next generation about North Carolina farming and all the different ways crops touch our lives on a daily basis. Join us as we visit Lazy O Farms...

Story by Jennifer Wood