A Community-Supported Urban Agriculture and Historical Partnership Project
Good Hope Farm has a mission to marry Cary's agricultural past with an innovative future by connecting beginning farmers to affordable farmland and our community to local food.
Farmers interested in launching their own agri-businesses can sublet affordable farm plots and also benefit from shared use of support such as irrigation and a tractor use. The community can get involved by attending volunteer work days, agricultural workshops, Gourd Tunnel activities, and tours. To learn more about farming, buying produce, donating, or getting involved visit the official project at Good Hope Farm.
In 2008 the Town purchased a historic family farmstead located in the Carpenter Historic District with a goal to keep the property in agricultural production. A coalition of four nonprofit organizations respond and pooled their resources in the name of a comprehensive shared vision best described as an incubator farm project. To accomplish this mission, one nonprofit, Piedmont Conservation Council, holds an eight-year lease with the Town that also outlines project management responsibilities for both parties. PCC also employees a farm manager that is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the incubator farm. The three other nonprofits, The Conservation Fund, North Carolina Community Development Initiative, and Conservation Trust for North Carolina support the project with funding and collaboratively they employee one project manager to handle grant writing, marketing, and other big picture duties. The Town of Cay supports the project with a project manager that handles infrastructure installation, renovations, Town programs and services at the facility (municipal water, electric service, curbside garbage collection) and generally maintaining the Town’s best interests by executing the lease and all it entails.
History of the Property
Established in 1910 by C.F. and Mallie Maynard, the property passed through several members of the Jones family before being purchased by Allie Martin and Annie Howard in 1933. The Howards proceeded to raise five children and substantial crops of brightleaf tobacco on their family farm for the next 65 years. The Town recognized the inherent and unique value of this property as an intact working farm that looks and feels very much like stepping back in time. The property includes a farmhouse, multiple tobacco barns, tool sheds, and a ham house as well as twenty acres of farmland. By preserving and restoring the buildings the Town is establishing a facility that will connect our Cary community with our agricultural past well into the future.
Environmental Outreach Program Specialist
Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department