Matt Watson is a third-generation cattle farmer in Chester, South Carolina. Alongside his wife Kelly and his father Gary, they have a 350 acre farm and rent an additional 80 acres.
Matt recounts his grandfather moving to South Carolina in 1979 and resumed farming operations. He explains the evolution of the family farm in the 1980s and 1990s from row crop farming to strictly livestock farming, due in part because of the 1980s farm crisis. Matt has been farming full time since 2008, after he graduated from college with a degree in mass communication. Watson Farms currently uses rotational pasture grazing for their cattle and pig herds, and traditional coop methods for turkeys. Kelly takes care of the farm’s egg-laying hens. They sell meat directly to consumers, which they started in 2007.[tabby title='Tape Log']
|0:00:28||Matt discusses how long he has been farming|
|0:00:44||Matt explains the history of Watson Farms|
|0:01:20||Watson Farms moved from Indiana to South Carolina|
|0:02:00||Evolution of crops and livestock at Watson Farms|
|0:02:28||End of rowcrop farming due to weather and farm crisis of the 1980s|
|0:03:29||Acreage of Watson Farms|
|0:03:43||Livestock on Watson Farms|
|0:04:12||Matt discusses going to college at Winthrop University|
|0:05:02||Why Matt decided to become a farmer|
|0:06:40||Farming organically without the label|
|0:07:39||Matt switches with Kelly. She discusses selling and distributing their meats.|
|0:08:17||Kelly explains why farmers markets don't work for their products|
|0:09:06||The start of their direct-to-consumer business model|
|0:09:33||Difficulties in raising livestock|
|0:10:19||Kelly explains the sale barn|
|0:10:47||How the farm-to-table movement has affected Watson Farms|
|0:11:31||Working to educate the public about the farm and agricultural methods|
|0:12:37||Dealing with rainy and cold weather on pigs, cattle and hens|
|0:17:32||Government support for farmers|
|0:18:43||Aspects of farming that people don't understand|
|0:20:51||Watson Farms' labor force|
|0:21:32||Looking forward and the future of Watson Farms|
|0:23:24||The farm's social media presence|
>> Louanne Hoverman: My name is Louanne Hoverman, graduate student at UNC Charlotte. Interviewing Matt Watson. Matt, how long have you been farming?
>> Matt Watson: Full-time since 2008 when I got out of college. But I grew up on the farm. And but full-time since 2008.
>> Louanne Hoverman: So you grew up on the farm.
How far back does it go?
>> Matt Watson: My dad and my granddad both were full-time farmers, basically all their life. And even back further than that my family. Had farmland but so at least, I'm at least the third generation.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay, I saw on the website that the farms started in Indiana.
>> Matt Watson: That's right.
>> Louanne Hoverman: With your grandfather?
>> Matt Watson: That's right, yeah. So they farmed in Southern Indiana around Vincennes, little town of Vincennes and they moved down here in 1979 and 1980.
>> Louanne Hoverman: What brought them to South Carolina?
>> Matt Watson: Right, just a number of different things but my granddad originally moved down here to retire, but he didn't end up doing that, and he ended up kept farming and talked my dad kinda into coming down here and farming with him.
They could buy ground cheaper down here. They could buy three acres for every acre they sold up there, so they had about 300 and some acres in Indian and they ended up at one time owning about 1200 acres down here and doing real crop farming until the mid 90s and then we got out of real crops and we started doing commercial turkeys and then.
It's just a kinda evolved into other things. From there we started grass fed beef in 2007. And so, yeah.
>> Louanne Hoverman: I wanna go back to switching from row crop farming to livestock. What made them get out of the row crop farming?
>> Matt Watson: It was, weather was one factor.
The farm crisis of the 1980's played a role in that. They survived that, but just could never get traction after that, the interest rates being so high during the 80's there and do you know it just kind of, if forced a bankruptcy so we had to sell off a lot of the real crop land and ended up keeping this land, and at that point ended up seeing an opportunity in the commercial turkeys and my dad put up some turkey barns and just basically making it work on a smaller acreage it meant kind of switching to a livestock operation.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay, how many acres do you have now?
>> Matt Watson: Got about 350 deeded acres and we rent another 80 acre farm.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Wow, that's a lot of land. So what type of animals do you raise?
>> Matt Watson: We raise turkeys, commercial turkeys, and pasture pigs, and cattle. And then my wife does layer chickens.
>> Louanne Hoverman: What are layer chickens?
>> Matt Watson: They lay eggs.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay.
>> Matt Watson: Yeah, yeah, sort of laying hens.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Versus a meat chick I say.
>> Matt Watson: Right, that's right.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Yeah.
>> Matt Watson: Yeah.
>> Louanne Hoverman: You mentioned you went to college. Do you have any education in farming? Or did you go for something else, like science?
Like a biology or-
>> Matt Watson: Something else.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Architecture?
>> Matt Watson: Yeah. One of those would have been great. I did Journalism.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay.
>> Matt Watson: So I was a Mass Communication major at Winthrop University. And my parents wanted me to get a degree and I thought it be good too, but I didn't get an agricultural degree or anything like that but the journalism actually is into that with some public relations with our customers being that we do direct market to our customers.
>> Louanne Hoverman: So what influenced you to take up farming?
>> Matt Watson: Yeah, I didn't always know for sure that I wanted to farm but as I was getting out of college I started to realize that, family farms were increasingly dwindling, and so I wanted to make an opportunity there if it was possible, and so the one opportunity that wasn't there years ago was this interest in local food, and grass-fed beef, and pasture-raised meat.
And so we saw that opportunity, and have made a run with that and it's been doing good and customer interest is still very much there and it's done well so far.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay, so the family farm went from raw crops to turkeys, when did you start with the beef cattle?
>> Matt Watson: We've always had beef cattle for-
>> Louanne Hoverman: Like personal consumption?
>> Matt Watson: No, we always had them and we would market them through conventional channels through the sale barns and things and basically just [INAUDIBLE] operations, but we in 2007, we started direct marketing to the customer.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay, do you farm organically?
>> Matt Watson: Not per say, we're not technically organic but we use organic methods. But, yeah, yeah, basically.
>> Louanne Hoverman: I've noticed that seems to be a trend with farmers. A lot of people don't know that to get an actual organic label. There's a lot of paperwork, and there's a cost associated with it.
>> Matt Watson: Yeah,
>> Louanne Hoverman: And so a lot of farmers, they don't have the label but they still use all the organic methods. So they might as well be organic.
>> Matt Watson: Yeah.
>> Louanne Hoverman: It's just not official.
>> Matt Watson: And I'm actually not feeling real good right now for some reason. Let me, I'm gonna let my wife continue this, if possible.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay. We are switching out with Kelly Watson, Matt's wife. Luckily we've gone over a lot of the history.
>> Kelly Watson: Okay. [LAUGH]
>> Louanne Hoverman: So I want to talk about selling and distribution. So you sell your product. What are the methods that you use? You did not mention direct to consumer.
Do you sell at like farmer's markets or to restaurants?
>> Kelly Watson: We deal with a couple of restaurants but not many. Most of ours is our customers they go on our website and place their orders on the website and we have several pick up locations from let's say Matthews all the way down to Charleston.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Wow.
>> Kelly Watson: So we do deliveries every Saturday of the month, or people could pick up here, and that's how most of our product gets moved.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Have you tried farmer's markets in the past?
>> Kelly Watson: We have, we did them for about four or five years. And it just The best sales cuz you're going and sitting out all day on Saturdays or Thursdays or whenever the market is.
And you're having to take all those products with you in coolers, and you're bringing back most of it because by Saturday morning markets, a lot of customers aren't ready to buy frozen meat because they've got list of things to do on that Saturday and that kinda thing. So we decided that we were gonna stop those and we haven't done those in several years now just because it just didn't work for us anymore.
>> Louanne Hoverman: That makes sense.
>> Kelly Watson: Yeah.
>> Louanne Hoverman: How did you start the director consumer method, just word of mouth?
>> Kelly Watson: Just word of mouth that is what most of ours is. We have a Facebook page and we're putting stuff on the Facebook page and we have a YouTube page.
But most ours is just word f mouth. So we started a lot of those customers of last year are doing the farmers markets, we told them and a lot of them stuck on and then just people researching and finding us and that kind of thing.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Are there any difficulties that you have experienced in raising the livestock?
>> Kelly Watson: Goodness, no, not really. It's pretty, I don't want to say easy, but it's minimal. You'll have some that get sick, that kind of thing and we'll treat those just so we don't lose them. But we don't sell them in our pasture meats business. If it's a cow we'll sell it to the sell bar, if it's a pig we'll kill it and eat it ourselves.
But we don't sell it since it's been medicated and that kind of thing, but yeah, overall it's not that bad.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay, Matt mentioned the sale barn, what's the sale barn?
>> Kelly Watson: It is we like Chester life Stock Exchange is where different farmers from wherever. A lot of like the one in Chester, a lot of local farmers, but people come from all over and you can sell your cows and pigs and that kinda thing through them.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay.
>> Kelly Watson: Yeah, and buy of course.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Has the recent emphasis on farm to table increased sales or have you seen an effect?
>> Kelly Watson: Yes there's as it grows, of course, you get more people that are wanting, as I learn what they're getting when they bought store bought me compared to what they're getting from the farm.
Our business grows at with that. Farm to table yeah, that has a big role with it because when I see restaurants wanting to do that, then individuals are wanting to do that. So they realized, hey, that really means something, [LAUGH]
>> Louanne Hoverman: Do you guys take part in any education like teach the public why pastured meat is maybe better than some of the conventional.
>> Kelly Watson: Yeah, we're constantly doing that on our Facebook page. We're doing videos, we have on our YouTube page as well, we're constantly doing videos that educate why we do what we do and raise the animals how they're supposed to be done. And, throughout the year, we'll have some groups come out for tours and stuff.
We're a big part of the ag and art tour in June. So a lot of people come out that day so they can see it and we're of course doing hay rides, educating that whole time. And throughout the year other little things that pop up we'll do from time to time.
But a lot of our education we do from our website and our Facebook page.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay, this is pretty rural area, but have you encountered any complaints about smell, noise
>> Kelly Watson: No, most people that live out here know that they are in farming country. So they know that it's going to happen, so
>> Louanne Hoverman: This region has very volatile weather patterns, I mean, yesterday it snowed and this afternoon its 70 degrees, so does that have any effect on the animals?
>> Kelly Watson: It can, when we have days like yesterday, we take extra precautions. We took some hay back to the pigs to let them have something to kind of bed down into, gives them something dry cuz the course, the ground was wet.
[COUGH] But most animals, they're developed to live outside.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Yeah.
>> Kelly Watson: So one day like that is not, [COUGH]. Now, I'm not saying that they like being in the snow all the time, but day to day like this, no. It wasn't enough yesterday to matter or make a big influence or anything like that.
We do take extra precautions, like I said, with the pigs we gave them hay so they could bed down and stuff. Not much you can do with the cows, [LAUGH] and that kind of thing. And on our land hands, we keep the curtains rolled up when it's cold, so that they have somewhere they can go inside their hoot house, and get away from the wind, and the weather, and that kind of thing, so.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay, now this past winter was extremely rainy, did that have any effect on, seems like the pigs are more susceptible to strange weather.
>> Kelly Watson: Yes, we lost several groups of pigs after they were born. When they were real little just because of the water. And it would run into the houses, kind of out of our control.
And if it's real cold, then piglets don't do well on that. If it's,
>> Kelly Watson: Other than that, no, it just makes a mess on the farm, [LAUGH]. Everywhere you go is muddy, but there are times where it gets a little bit rough on them, but it doesn't normally last too long.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Yeah, I saw your YouTube video from yesterday, that Matt recorded. Where there's this giant mud puddle next to the pigs, and the snow is coming down, and that's the perfect representation of our winter.
>> Kelly Watson: It is.
>> Louanne Hoverman: It's muddy-
>> Kelly Watson: And the pigs will still stay in the mud, they love it.
It can be cold, it can be hot they do it more when it's hot and this type of weather than anytime. But yeah, they'll still roll around in the mud and this winter several times they'd be laid out in the mud puddles, but that's what they use to cool off.
They use the water and the mud puddles to keep them cool so they don't get too hot. So, yeah, [LAUGH] lots of puddles around.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Now since all of your pigs and your cows are pasture raised, how do you handle droughts? Like when the grass gets really dry and just doesn't grow very well, like in the heat of the summer.
>> Kelly Watson: Luckily, yeah, around here it doesn't get too bad. We do go through droughts, but yeah, we plant annuals that help our grass grow, but we also have hay that we put up and silage that we put up in the fall, I guess? [LAUGH] And so if it's necessary, in the wintertime, of course, we could do that, because there's not much grass that grows in the wintertime.
But if we need to in a drought, we can feed that as well, so they at least have something for the cows. For the pigs, they still get grain, they get their feed every day. But the cows, we can give them that hay to supplement them and give them stuff.
They just don't gain the weight as easy in those months.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Yeah, what kind of local cooperative organizations are you both involved with? Is there anything with the sale barn like this?
>> Kelly Watson: No, we are not I mean, I guess you can technically say, yeah, we don't do anything with Sell Barn except if we have to sell something.
We work with Catawba Farm and Food Coalition, I think is the name of it. And they're in Chester and its a food hub. So we work with them, and right now we're just doing eggs through them. So they got some restaurants in Charlotte that are getting our eggs.
And there's a place like that in Charleston that we work with, but other than that.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay.
>> Kelly Watson: It's just us. [LAUGH]
>> Louanne Hoverman: What kind of support has been available through the government, whether it's local, state, or even federal, any?
>> Kelly Watson: There are a lot of programs out there for new farmers and young farmers.
Not that we're old, but people that are just starting out, there are some programs out there for that. But we don't, us personally, we don't get anything from the government, or anything like that to run our operation.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Even though you guys are pretty young, since it's a third generation farm, does that have any impact on support from the government?
Cuz technically the farm isn't new-
>> Kelly Watson: Yes.
>> Louanne Hoverman: But you guys are.
>> Kelly Watson: We, I guess, technically we could get help, but we just haven't. We haven't gotten to that point to where we've needed them to do anything. Honestly, if we can [LAUGH] stay away from getting them involved in anything, then we do.
Nothing against the government, but.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay, what's an aspect of farming that most people wouldn't understand?
>> Kelly Watson: Just the everyday work that goes into it. It's not just a 9 to 5 job. It's sometimes sunup to sundown. That you actually have to take care of the animals. You can't just give them their water and expect them to be good or give them their grass.
They've got to be moved. We're constantly checking on all of them. Every day we go around and check all animals, make sure, cuz anything can happen. You can have everything good one day and the next day have a herd of pigs that's dead or something like that. But just that it is intensive work.
Everybody thinks that, you just get to be outside all day and do that. And yes, you do, and on beautiful days, it's great. But we're working in the rain, in the snow, 0 degree weather,100 degree weather it doesn't matter. So just that it's not as good as everybody thinks it is.
It is hard work, and there's not vacations. And especially owning your own farm, you can't just take off whenever because there are animals that have to be taken care of and all that.
>> Louanne Hoverman: It sounds like you might be able to eke out a day.
>> Kelly Watson: We can, and we're lucky.
If we have an employee working for us at that time or half days here and there. And sometimes even our time is just, we go to the back of the farm with the kids and do something at the creek or that kind of thing. So there is time, but it is not as easy.
You don't get paid vacation and sick days [LAUGH] and all that, so.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Even if you have a cold or the flu, the cows still need to be fed.
>> Kelly Watson: They still need to be fed and-
>> Louanne Hoverman: Go check on the pigs.
>> Kelly Watson: Yes, and all that, so, yeah, you work 365 days in a year.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay, you mentioned an employee. What does your labor force consist of?
>> Kelly Watson: Meaning? [LAUGH]
>> Louanne Hoverman: Who works on the farm?
>> Kelly Watson: Right now it is my husband and myself and my father-in-law. I deal with all of our customers and orders and that end of it. And my husband and my father-in-law do the outside work.
We have had employees from time to time that help us out just to make it a little bit easier on my husband and that kind of thing. But when we have an employee he's doing the same things we're doing. If we've gotta set posts for a fence or whatever, he's doing that same stuff, so.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay.
>> Kelly Watson: Yeah, but right now it's just the three of us.
>> Louanne Hoverman: What do you see for the future of the farm?
>> Kelly Watson: We hope that our children want to do this. Right now, we have a six-year-old and a two-year-old. And our six-year-old washes eggs with us every day.
She's out there working with us, she loves going out. But that's our goal is that more people will come to realize that this is the way the meat's supposed to be raised to help us stay [LAUGH] in business. But then also, just that our children wanna continue it for generations on down.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay, is there anything else that I may have not thought of?
>> Kelly Watson: You covered it pretty well. [LAUGH]
>> Louanne Hoverman: You mentioned YouTube and Facebook. Who handles the social media?
>> Kelly Watson: Me and Matthew, me, both of us.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay.
>> Kelly Watson: We both kind of, he does most of the videos.
There for a while I was doing most of the videos, but he does all the editing and getting them put on Facebook and YouTube [LAUGH] cuz he's better at that. But just our regular posts and stuff on Facebook, we both do. So with everything on our website, we're both constantly, we just both do it.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay.
>> Kelly Watson: There's aspects that he can do and stuff that I can do [LAUGH], so it works.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Team effort.
>> Kelly Watson: Yes, team effort.
>> Louanne Hoverman: Okay, that was pretty much it.
>> Kelly Watson: All right.
Kim Shaw started farming in Charlotte in 2007 in the Cotswald neighborhood before moving to her current location off Brookshire Blvd. In this interview she discusses some issues with urban farming and candidly recalls her memories of first starting out. She addresses the current situation of urban farming in Charlotte, including a lack of tax breaks and incentives, and issues involving increasing land development in the area. She began growing food for the restaurant business before branching out to the Yorkshire farmers market and creating a CSAs or Community Supported Agriculture. Shaw references the future of urban farming, particularly as Charlotte faces increasing development pressures.[tabby title='Tape Log']
|0:00:40||Thoughts on Farming in Charlotte|
|0:01:03||qualifications to be a farm, requirements to be a farm in the city|
|0:01:37||how to be a farm in the city’s eyes - 3 acres|
|0:02:35||benefits of being a farm with squarefootage of out buildings.|
|0:03:19||renting from neighbors. 0.25 acres in name only|
|0:03:51||Started in Cotswold around 2007.|
|0:04:35||Grew for restaurants and Yorkmont Market|
|0:04:57||looked for farms to buy to no avail|
|0:05:13||Moved to current location off Brookshire Blvd.|
|0:05:28||started farming out of necessity, decided not to go back to catering|
|0:05:59||reasons for not being able to get a farm. The expenses and commute.|
|0:06:54||more land would be nice for rotation. She does it by herself with maybe one other person.|
|0:07:32||-07:32 Wind disruption|
|0:07:46||current usage of 3 acres, what they grow|
|0:09:23||Start of the season, delayed by weather.|
|0:10:03||Greenhouse rented off craighead and tryon|
|0:10:43||showed picture of greenhouse|
|0:12:03||-11:59 wind disruption|
|0:12:35||Hated dealing with farmer’s markets, reasons = customers, locations, not selling much|
|0:13:46||Hassle of farmers market day schedule|
|0:13:54||do CSAs instead|
|0:14:43||Buys strawberries and peaches from Brent Barbee from Barbee farms for CSAs|
|0:15:27||growing food for chefs and restaurants, different foods|
|0:17:11||Fresh List mentioned|
|0:19:16||tight knit community with farmers|
|0:21:33||Piedmont Culinary Guild|
|0:21:54||Benefits of Fresh List|
|0:23:36||change of produce with Fresh List|
|0:24:47||food changes with changes of demographics - people wanting organic foods.|
|0:25:59||What type of foods people want.|
|0:26:37||CSAs, the varieties of foods involved.|
|0:28:07||more variety with Brent’s food in the CSA.|
|0:29:07||Talked of canning tomatoes, tips.|
|0:30:39||Caution with CSA, don’t give too much to shareholders. Don’t want wasted food.|
|0:31:58||Food harvested to order, not all at once|
|0:33:40||Using city water for farming.|
|0:34:08||Wished she had a bigger barn. Limited by CSAs.|
|0:34:29||-34:28 Wind disruption|
|0:35:43||Location of farm in Charlotte, closeness to people in the city.|
|0:36:29||thoughts on urban farming, land requirement|
|0:37:15||Objection towards hobby farming on one acre|
|0:37:57||selling of Cotswold house|
|0:38:57||No tax breaks|
|0:39:38||Only commodity crops get subsidies|
|0:40:57||effects of Mecklenburg Land Re-Evaluation|
|0:42:07||No real urban farms in big cities. Selling of the Hall family farm for $22 Million|
|0:43:07||The thought of selling land to developers for big money. How much do they love farming?|
|0:44:44||Need of incentives to stay|
|0:46:14||Her prices of food have not changed since 2007|
|0:47:26||Wages as a caterer, reflection of the times|
|0:48:54||Prices will have to go up for farmers to sustain themselves.|
|0:49:57||Quality of food and prices, people like cheap food.|
|0:51:06||restaurants adjusting their prices and menu items. Different cuts of meat now.|
|0:52:14||Self-employment, different streams of revenue: sewing chef aprons. Benefits.|
>> Nick Kane: Okay, my name is Nick Kane of UNCC. We are doing the project called Queen's Garden, the oral histories of the Piedmont Food Shed. And today, I have Kim Shaw of Small City Farms located in our little city, Charlotte, North Carolina. And Kim, what would you like us to know about you?
>> Kim Shaw: [LAUGH] That's a pretty open question. I don't know, what do you want to know about us?
>> Nick Kane: What's your take on the farm system around here or maybe your thoughts on the food shed around here as well?
>> Kim Shaw: We're in the city of Charlotte, which is, we're actually in the city not just the county.
So the requirements to be a farm in the city is you have to have three acres. Right here, between here and down there, we have almost three. And then, we rent the remainder in order to qualify to be a farm. The qualifications are different. The IRS considers us a farm.
The FDA considers us a far. But to actually farm in the city, that's a requirement. Which I'm not really crazy about. I think it should be a dollar amount. And a substantial dollar amount so that rich people with an acre aren't getting a farm designation cuz their kids are selling zinnias on Sharon Road West.
But we found that out when we got our USDA grant for our high tunnel. And the people who built it were like do you need permits? And I'm like, gee, I don't know. Let me call the city. [LAUGH] And that's when the city told me that I wasn't a farm.
And I was like, well, actually, I am a farm. And we have the USDA number. And so, we had to go 20 rounds with them. And what we settled on was being able to rent in order to get our quote unquote three acres.
>> Nick Kane: So what kind of runarounds did you have to do with them just to continually figure out, I need to buy three acres or?
>> Kim Shaw: It has to be contiguous. It can't be three acres someplace else, it's gotta be attached to this property. So we asked various neighbors, and these guys which, especially two doors down, were the only ones who would actually do it for us. So we had to have a signed lease.
And then, the rules to be a farm apply to us. That hoop house is 70 by 30. It's 2,100 square feet. And if we weren't a farm, you can't, in the city of Charlotte, you can't have an outbuilding that is greater square footage than the first floor of your house.
So our house is 1,800 square feet. But if you're a farm, you can do whatever you want, pretty much. So we didn't to pull permits and stuff like that for it. So eventually, it was okay. But it was kind of, I mean, it was pretty surprising when they were like, hey, I'm like what are gonna do, arrest me for farming?
I mean like, what the ****? So it was kinda crazy for a while there. But then, now we've got that lease, so it's okay.
>> Nick Kane: So you rent property from neighbors?
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, one neighbor.
>> Nick Kane: Just one neighbor?
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah.
>> Nick Kane: And he had, how much extra acreage did he have?
>> Kim Shaw: I think they were on 2.5 acres. And it's actually owned by a church and they loan us, rent us, I think 0.25, something like that. We don't actually use it. It's just in lease and money only, yeah.
>> Nick Kane: Okay, so you basically, do you guys give anything to them?
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, we give them 500 bucks a year for it.
>> Nick Kane: Okay, gotcha.
>> Kim Shaw: For the lease, yeah.
>> Nick Kane: So would you guys consider moving out to the more further to the county, or you wanna settle here, and just?
>> Kim Shaw: No, we didn't start out here, we started out at our house in Cotswold.
The way we got started, I was Director of Catering at And out there, Mike started a garden with our chef who's now the chef of the Stanley, Paul Verica. And I got laid off in August of 2007. And I was already growing some stuff at home for him.
And we talked a little bit about growing more because we only had so much land available to us at the club. So that day that I got let go, I called my husband and I was like, hey, we were talking about growing more for Paul. I'm like we gonna be able to grow more, I don't have a job anymore.
So I had some severance, my employment, and so we started growing there in August. And we were at the Farmer's Market on by October, and Paul was my first restaurant customer. And we didn't move here until March of 2009. And we looked everywhere for farms. I mean, God, every fricking county, every, I mean Lord almighty, we had a foreclosure with seven acres under contract in 2008 for I wanna say, six months.
I mean, we looked all over the place before we finally found this place. Next door to Coca-Cola. [LAUGH]
>> Nick Kane: Wonderful Coca-Cola.
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, yeah, I love it.
>> Nick Kane: Yeah, bottles, I think it's still bottled here.
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah.
>> Nick Kane: So was it out of necessity that you decided to start farming, basically?
>> Kim Shaw: It really was. I got offered another job as director of catering at another club that winter, and I was like you know what, I don't think so. It was obviously substantially less money. But at it was my favorite part of that job. And I mean, I was doing it basically for free, coming in.
But yeah, so that's how it happened.
>> Nick Kane: Why couldn't you find any farms around here? Were they just being tightly held by people, or?
>> Kim Shaw: Not really, I mean, part of it was financial. I mean, we only had a certain amount of money to spend, and when you're talking being close in to Charlotte, I mean, it's expensive.
And we could have found more land elsewhere, but then my husband Roland would have had to deal with that commute. He works for a not-for-profit on Craighead and North Trion. And it was sort of like what was worthwhile. And then, being closer to Charlotte with chef customers. We run our CSA here.
>> Nick Kane: Yeah.
>> Kim Shaw: They pick up here. Whereas other people have to be at a farmer's market for people to pick up, cuz nobody's gonna drive out to Richfield to CSA. So it's kind of a trade. It would be nice to have more land. Not to farm more but to be able to just rotate things better.
But for kind of one and a half people, this two and three acres is about all you candle by yourself. It's a lot of land.
>> Nick Kane: So what would you do if you got more land with?
>> Kim Shaw: We'd just rotate. I mean, this house down here that hasn't been lived in forever, I'm trying to get her to sell me a chunk of that land.
I don't think she will for whatever reason. It's been a rental. It's been whatever. Right now, because the weather's so bad there's nothing there's never [NOISE] September or October. And now, we don't have a place to even put, we can't even get onions in right now. So it wouldn't be more stuff, it would just be easier to rotate stuff out and have new buds ready.
>> Nick Kane: So what are you doing with three acres now?
>> Kim Shaw: We've got-
>> Nick Kane: [NOISE] chickens but-
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, we've got whatever 30, 36, 40 chickens running around. We've got this [NOISE] right here, which we planted starting in 2011. I don't know if you can see all the way down there.
There's a big fenced [INAUDIBLE]
and at the bottom to this hill [INAUDIBLE]
park something on it. So right now we've got, and then we've got a 2,100 square foot hoop house. So right now we've got carrots in the hoop house, pea tendrils, green garlic. And in the big garden, we've got kind of the leftovers of our winter crops.
Collards, cabbage, kale, pansies, we do have a lot of edible flowers. And then in the little garden, we've got more kale. And so this weekend, cuz it's more dry this whole week, we'll probably be able to plow this weekend and then start making our rounds for summer stuff.
>> Nick Kane: So is mid-March considered late?
>> Kim Shaw: No, not really. The only thing that we're in a hurry to get in is really the onions and the [INAUDIBLE] everything else, all your [INAUDIBLE] til the middle of April, anyway. But it would be [INAUDIBLE] all that kind of stuff. [INAUDIBLE]
ready to get some stuff in.
>> Nick Kane: So there's a greenhouse as well?
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah.
>> Nick Kane: Where is that?
>> Kim Shaw: We rent that from Ron's work.
>> Nick Kane: [INAUDIBLE].
>> Kim Shaw: Trion.
>> Nick Kane: Trion.
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah.
>> Nick Kane: What's that like just a-
>> Kim Shaw: I mean it's really nice, he did green house, yeah, so we rent four tables out of it.
I think I've got a picture of it.
>> Kim Shaw: But because it's heated, as opposed to the hoop house, which is not the same as a greenhouse, we've got a fair amount of stuff started in there, herbs, flowers. These are two tables in that greenhouse right now. We were just in there this past weekend.
>> Nick Kane: That's impressive.
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, so we start putting much everything from seed and transplants, the stuff that we don't direct seed.
>> Nick Kane: Did you have any trouble with the law or permits for starting a greenhouse and I think it was pretty close to a downtown [INAUDIBLE]?
>> Kim Shaw: [INAUDIBLE] They have their horticulture program so that's a whole different thing and they weren't doing it as a farm.
>> Nick Kane: [INAUDIBLE].
>> Kim Shaw: It's [INAUDIBLE].
>> Nick Kane: Okay good, [INAUDIBLE].
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah.
>> Nick Kane: Okay.
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, it's cool. So we rent it all year, even though we don't use it all year, but we rent it all year.
>> Nick Kane: That's cool.
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, very cool.
>> Nick Kane: What kind of, I guess it's pretty popular, so to speak.
[INAUDIBLE] for the community.
>> Kim Shaw: What?
>> Nick Kane: [INAUDIBLE]
>> Kim Shaw: No, they lost their grant for that, god, years ago. So right now it's just all their staff has all their plans in there and then us [INAUDIBLE] and then I grow plants for them [INAUDIBLE] plants, so.
>> Nick Kane: Yeah, so what's the ACSA working on [INAUDIBLE]?
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, [INAUDIBLE]
starts should start at the end of April the last week in April that's 18 days.
>> Nick Kane: What pushed you towards that, the CSA?
>> Kim Shaw: I hate the market, I hate the market, I mean, it sucks. We did Lawn, we did Atherton, I mean, you gotta get up at the **** crack of freaking dawn.
Go out there and all those people with their **** Starbucks going, I can't justify $3 for a bunch of beets. And I'm just like, you know what? Yeah, so and it just really depended on your spot, we always had a **** spot at the market and it sucks to come home with product.
It's like it's just a huge waste, so I would much rather do the CSA cuz I know what I'm harvesting. There's no waste, restaurants, there's no, I'm not stuck with guess what? I didn't sell 20 pounds of lettuce, so what are you suppose to do with it? So when we moved here, I think we did market for two years, maybe.
And it's on Saturday, too. And there are so many farm things that gotta be done with two people [INAUDIBLE]. Eating lunch and then 2 o'clock it's like okay, so let's start work. In July I mean my God, [INAUDIBLE] you want for the money, I'm **** it let's just pick up some more CSAs and then we can at least maybe have Sundays off.
So that's how we came to do just CSAs and the restaurant stuff. [INAUDIBLE] I mean not to diss on markets [INAUDIBLE] but to hell with it.
>> Nick Kane: Do you think it's a difference between what you have versus maybe what other?
>> Kim Shaw: I don't think so I mean, [INAUDIBLE] I mean I think everybody's got a lot of the same basics.
But there are things that we don't grow because we just don't have the equipment. I mean, we're not growing strawberries here with black plastic and all that stuff [INAUDIBLE]. When we have our CSAs I buy strawberries from Brent and so the CSAs can't get that. And you have peaches, they are such a pain in the ****.
Brent grows delicious peaches, I'll buy them from Brent. But other stuff, Brent doesn't **** around with little teeny herbs and edible flowers and stuff like we do. But for just the basic stuff I feel like most people use the same seed sources and have pretty much the same kind of things.
>> Kim Shaw: You try to grow different stuff, and people always say I want something that's kind of different. And it's like what they really want is, do you have anything that's out of season now, which is not [INAUDIBLE] you can grow here, I'd kinda like some lemons. So when you grow really different stuff, we forever have chefs now, can you grow this for me it's like, yeah, sure.
And then they go, okay I'll take a pound and you're like, are **** kidding me? I grew a 100 foot row of this ****. So we we try to limit super off the wall stuff and try to kind of contain ourselves. We grew borage last year. Nobody ordered it, I mean no one ordered it.
>> Nick Kane: What's that?
>> Kim Shaw: It's an herb that kinda tastes like cucumber, it's got a blue edible flower. I mean, truly nobody nobody bought it. But there's some things that I just like to grow just to grow and I don't really care if people buy it or not. But it is better, it's a lot more lucrative if you can actually sell the **** you're growing.
So we try to we try to do that, but a lot of times when you meet with people and ask. Ask them what they want, and they tell you and you grow it, especially with chefs. It's like there's a reason why lots of people don't grow this kind of tomato here.
What kind of tomato you wanna grow in Nashville? So they don't do well here, and then can you get more money for it? Are they're willing to pay more for it, cuz the yields are so crappy? So I don't know, it's complicated.
>> Nick Kane: So do you have different CSAs with chefs and other customers?
>> Kim Shaw: No, the CSAs are just for regular people. They have full share and half share, and with eggs, without eggs. [INAUDIBLE] the side that you can add on to. Chefs just get our price list, and then we pull it from Freshlist as well. Do you know Jesse? Have you talked to him?
>> Nick Kane: Jesse?
>> Kim Shaw: Leadbetter, from Freshlist?
>> Nick Kane: No, no, not yet.
>> Kim Shaw: You ought to, he's a good resource.
>> Nick Kane: I'll check that out.
>> Kim Shaw: He started a few years ago and he buys from everybody local and then sells to chefs, which is great for us chefs who just want.
I'll have three pounds of whatever and we're like okay, that's $9. You can come get it, [LAUGH] but I'm not coming to your restaurant for 9 fricking dollars. So but when Freshlist orders, they ordering for me for a bunch of different restaurants. And it's like, well, for 100 bucks, sure, I'll deliver Freshlist.
And they work around with the other people, so it's just great. They deal with a lot of farmers, I mean, and it's a great resource.
>> Nick Kane: So like a middleman?
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, he's a reseller. So he'll buy something from me for 2 bucks and then he just sells it to them for 5.
And then chefs don't have to come out here or rely on farmers to deliver and all that kind of stuff. A lot of people have tried to do what's he done. He's the only one who's been successful.
>> Nick Kane: Okay.
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, he's a good guy.
>> Nick Kane: Who are the chefs you're selling to?
>> Kim Shaw: I don't know who Freshlist sells to. I mean, if I ask right now. [INAUDIBLE] So I don't necessarily know who they're selling to, but we sell to The Stanley, which is Paul's restaurant and 300 East. And I do flowers for The Stanley, too. And we sell flowers to 300 East, they arrange them and whatnot.
And that's it, and everything else is through Craigslist.
>> Nick Kane: Okay, so it seems like you have a really tight-knit sort of like community because-.
>> Kim Shaw: It is.
>> Nick Kane: Brent from Barbie. Are you like that with anyone else around here?
>> Kim Shaw: I'm trying think who I know. Dee and Jennifer Mollust from Laughing Owl.
They do Matthew's Market. We met them at the York market. Christie from Underwood, the guys at Topham. I think these guys are all at York market.
>> Kim Shaw: God, who are the guys with the beef? ****, I can't remember. But I mean, most people know or know of the chefs [INAUDIBLE].
We know him, and he's a great guy.
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, there aren't really very many other farmers who were in the city.
>> Kim Shaw: Because we're not in market anymore, we don't get to hang out with farmers, like we used to, and this is that. I'll take the extra hour of sleep.
>> Nick Kane: Yeah.
>> Kim Shaw: But it's a tight-knit community from Charlotte. Chefs, everybody who buys local knows all the people who buy local. And Paul's, I guess, daytime chef is Ben Philpot. He used to be the chef at Larchen Grinder. And before that he was at Cafe Monte. And before that he was at Roosters.
When he was at Roosters he lived across the street from us in Pottsville when we first started out, and that's how I met him and his wife a long time ago. So and Paul's sous chef is his son Alex who I met when I was working with Paul at the Larchen Grinder.
He just walked in there. So it's pretty tight-knit, but I think a really nice community, chefs, everybody's really. There's Culinary Guild-
>> Nick Kane: Yeah, I do.
>> Kim Shaw: That we're part of, and I know is part of that. That's really helped foster that community a lot.
>> Nick Kane: Do you think there's gonna be a growth with more and more people to [INAUDIBLE] symposium?
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, I mean, I think so. I mean, I think right now it's like anybody can join this right now if you can prove that you were buying local, but I don't think that's true any more. Although I do think the Freshlist is changing. I think they are really, really making it so easy for chefs, and I mean, I'm sure it's expensive but,
>> Kim Shaw: I mean, I think there's just a lot more people, chefs being able to use, because I don't have to have 30 pounds of whatever. It doesn't matter that I don't have it. It's like I've got 10, Brent's got 10, somebody else has got 10. It's like, okay, great, and now you can say you're sourcing local kale.
It's like okay, great. And also it takes care of that whole delivery business. I mean, it's just it's [INAUDIBLE] who are driving a long way. It's a real pain in the **** to get here. I mean, I think Jamie's from Milford. I think it's 95 miles round trip.
Yeah, I mean, it's a frickin haul so,
>> Kim Shaw: And you're going to a gazillion little restaurants. It's like geez, just come in once a week, from Freshlist and be done. So I think they're really, they've been growing a lot. So and they deal with some places that I don't think that we would ordinarily deal with, like Haberdish and Crespella.
They buy a lot of edible flowers from us. But through FreshList, though which is fine by me. It's good, it's a great way to move product. We have so many right now, I mean, I don't know how we would, we wouldn't be able to move them if it wasn't through Freshlist.
And we grew them specifically for that, because we knew that they've got a good market now so that's cool.
>> Nick Kane: Did you change what you're growing when you decided to go with Freshlist or you just kept deciding the same thing over again?
>> Kim Shaw: We changed a little bit cuz they asked us to grow some stuff, like radishes.
We didn't really move them that well. Because they are going off what chefs tell them as well. And everybody's like, what are you gonna use all these radishes for? Maybe they do, maybe they don't.
>> Nick Kane: [LAUGH] Lovely traffic.
>> Kim Shaw: I know, it's all the widening that's going on up here on the road.
But we grew a bunch of rainbow carrots because they were like, we can still move them, and they have, and it's great, and that's just really not something necessarily that I would have grown. And we upped our winter time [INAUDIBLE], cuz I knew that they would be able to move the stuff, so that's cool.
>> Nick Kane: Do you think some of the chefs are [INAUDIBLE] demographics [INAUDIBLE] wanted more organic, locally sourced foods?
>> Kim Shaw: I don't know. I mean, I think all of that just changes so much. It's like people want organic, then people want local, and then everybody's just talking about clean food, and it's like what is that, like code for like white people food.
It's like are you kidding me, what? I mean really. For us we find that our CSA demographic is a lot of times people with kids, and people are really, really concerned about that. Like super concerned about what their kids are eating, and on the other scale, like a market, there are a lot of old people who really, really, they think if they're eating this, they're gonna live forever.
Yeah, I'll sell you that, but restaurant stuff, diners are more used to [INAUDIBLE], they're a little more okay with the idea of, hey, it's December, there's no asparagus for you. It's March. Don't ask for tomatoes, and I think people are getting used to that. I think that [INAUDIBLE], people kind of know what that is now and they're like, okay, and they know what it is when they're eating out, and it's not a surprise for people to be like, okay [INAUDIBLE].
So I think that people are getting better educated about that for sure.
>> Nick Kane: Yeah. I know it's on your website, you had about the CSA is, that you're gonna get a variety of stuff at a times. I have the idea that every time something's written like that is that there is a specific reason that you guys have complaints about variety and they wanted certain other things.
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, I mean, that's my thing, you can't have let people have what they want. Absolutely no, because otherwise, all people we want is like, I want peaches and tomatoes, and on July 4th, I want a watermelon. That's it. It's like, well, that's not what you're having, [LAUGH] because that's not what we have.
For a lot people going to the farmer's market mean just that. It's like I'm going to go when there's tomatoes, corn, and peaches. So there's no corn and peaches at the end of April. So you know it starts off, and I've got a whole, I think there's a link.
Did you read all the guidelines and all that **** it just went on forever,-
>> Nick Kane: I did breeze through that.
>> Kim Shaw: Okay, because it is gonna start off like really like with a lot of lettuces, and a lot of arugula, and stuff. By the time you're like, my God, I can't eat another freaking salad, [COUGH] the CSA sucks.
The lettuce is not, and it's like great, okay, good, my God, I can't eat anymore tomatoes. That's it, now that you're done. So it's just having that, and then that's another reason I buy stuff from Brent. So it's like, they do get peaches.
>> Kim Shaw: And then they do get strawberries.
>> Kim Shaw: So, it's not, but people are just, I let people fill out, if there's something you made, let me know, and we won't give it to you, and people are pretty good about that.
>> Nick Kane: Or allergens.
>> Kim Shaw: I had hardly anybody with allergens.
>> Nick Kane: Okay.
>> Kim Shaw: Which is really kind of amazing.
But some people, we have muscadines, some people are like, I hate muscadines, I'm like, what's wrong with you? People are pretty good at going through [INAUDIBLE]. I mean, last year we didn't have, we had an okay harvest. It was just crazy, [COUGH]. [INAUDIBLE] I noticed they had at least one week where it's all tomatoes, all Romas, and the idea is, it's like you were gonna put all these up, freeze them, so you're not, like [INAUDIBLE] in November, like, canned tomatoes to [INAUDIBLE]
>> Kim Shaw: [INAUDIBLE] [INAUDIBLE] You really don't have to do it that, I mean it could be [INAUDIBLE] and if you wanna go an extra step, skin them, and put them in the freezer, and they'll [INAUDIBLE], and then usually I make a huge plate. I put some salt, and I just cook them down, probably about a day, and freeze that.
When I can stuff it's usually actually making jam, pickles, and when we have plums, canning whole fruit, but that's an easy way to do stuff, and I save basil and stuff, just stick [INAUDIBLE] put an ice cube tray. Dump them [INAUDIBLE]. Once again, you're gonna be so pissed when something calls for a [INAUDIBLE] basil, and you're gonna be like and you gonna have to go look at an **** to thirsty and pay $2 or something, just **** days where you're like, I should have frozen it like she said.
So that's as much as the CSA's about. You really can, onions are the same way. I mean, [INAUDIBLE] for the difficult, and we always have to be careful about the CSA. They're the number one reason people drop out of CSAs is cuz they're getting too much stuff, and people feel badly that they're not using it up, and they're throwing it away.
So a lot of times people don't understand that. They're like, why don't you just give it to your CSAs if you've got so much? I'm like, the CSAs would **** have a heart attack if I gave them all this ****. They would be, that's why they're, like, I'm not signing up again.
It was just too much stuff, and it all went bad, and we felt terrible.
>> Nick Kane: That's a waste of food.
>> Kim Shaw: It's a huge waste of food, and people can be very [INAUDIBLE]. I mean, unless it's specific stuff. I don't think I can give anybody too many of donuts peaches, but other stuff people do that like, wow, more summer savory, we had such a huge bunch of it last week.
>> Nick Kane: [INAUDIBLE] not getting rid of it per say, but selling it basically,
>> Kim Shaw: Most things will stand in the field for a while. If I don't have to harvest it, it'll It'll last out there. Could, but then it goes bad, so we really do cut stuff to order.
It's not like huge pools is just stacked with ****. Cuz that's where the way they're harvesting it. You order ten bunches of basil from me, I'm gonna go and get you ten bunches of basil [INAUDIBLE]. So it's a [INAUDIBLE] trying not to grow too much stuff. It's kind of a struggle when you're in the greenhouse and you're just seeding up trays of 36 I mean, you can seed it up, ten trays of tomatoes just like that.
I was like, what am I gonna do with 360 tomato plants? It's really difficult to be, you don't need all of that and to really be, I'd say that none of them I just planted a whole tray of which is like the artichoke but you to see the leaves the big blue plants out here.
Nobody buys them but they're a good cut flower and I had a friend who asked me for some. It's like well okay so it's hard sometimes to be like no like that's enough. We don't need five flats of Thai basil, nobody buys it. That really we do try to [INAUDIBLE].
>> Nick Kane: So now you haven't [INAUDIBLE] usually talking about the legality of the plant using scissors. And then the other issues you've had with this farming at all?
>> Kim Shaw: I mean from [INAUDIBLE]
No. I mean I wish we had a well, you've got city water here and it's not ideal.
Although we've got a way to water the hoop house off of the roof, the chicken house. But we got some big totes from Muddy River Distillery Belmont. They're totes but they're molasses coming from. And we had that catch and [INAUDIBLE]. So yeah that would be nice but I wish we had the money for a much bigger barn, walk in.
But it's hard to balance that, it's like we're limited by the number of CSAs that we have [INAUDIBLE]. Great brand new barn. I'm like, okay.
>> Kim Shaw: I go to [INAUDIBLE] patio and I plant them all up. And Alex is like [INAUDIBLE] it's like, yeah, sure. Can you [INAUDIBLE] we were so close, so it's not a big deal to go yeah sure.
[INAUDIBLE] like, I just need to run by.
>> Kim Shaw: I may just [INAUDIBLE] I need just women, [INAUDIBLE] yeah, sure, so it's super, it's super handy. When people think this is a farm, it's gonna be way out some place, I'm like, no it's not way out. People always get here early and are like, my gosh it's so close.
It's like, yeah it is, that's pretty cool. And this is getting closer to [INAUDIBLE] now than it was our old house. It cost. So it really it worked out. [INAUDIBLE]
What do you think about farming cuz it works and and at this poin we are and that's part of the thing with this explained requirement.
Anybody who doesn't have three acres is not farming in Charlotte with the [INAUDIBLE]. So I just I think it should be I think there's a balance there and it ought to be a money thing [INAUDIBLE]. Let's say that you're doing I don't know $10,000 an acre, then in the who gives a ****, if you acre or two acres or three acres or whatever.
It does, because I also object to people who are farming for fun for hobby, it's like [INAUDIBLE] prices that are ridiculous because they're just selling stuff because they've got extra. That's a difficult thing to contend with. But if you make that a requirement, then it's like, okay, and I think it evens it up, it would allow people to [INAUDIBLE] I mean, three acres of land is a bunch of money.
I mean it really is, you know.
>> Nick Kane: Especially Charlotte.
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, people here in the depths of despair of the collapse of the real estate market. [SOUND] We sold our house to Concoswell, for I mean next to nothing. That house [INAUDIBLE] than we were paying. We bought this house in January and we paid that other mortgage all the way through November, two mortgages.
I just looked that house up which I shouldn't have but it's worth now twice what we sold it for, twice, I'm like holy ****. But the good thing is we got this for hardly anything. But it is really expensive, I mean that acre, 1.2 acres down there which is actually a separate parcel, but if you look up this house on the GIS you won't see that.
But that has gone now for tax value, we bought it for 19,000 and the tax value is 49,000.
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah and we don't get any break on that. I mean we just, I mean it's crazy. It's outrageous but it's a big difference from what we should be able to get some kind of break on it and it's farm land.
I don't know of any [INAUDIBLE] You know of any break, tell her.
>> Nick Kane: All right. [INAUDIBLE] The council, maybe.
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, I mean for sure.
>> Kim Shaw: It would be nice to, to see that kind of you people think we get all kinds of tax, Breaks, subsidies and ****.
It's like, that's hilarious, no we don't.
>> Nick Kane: Is it only the bigger farms towards outer counties that have any breaks like that?
>> Kim Shaw: Subsidy crops are not food crops. They're commodity crops, soybeans, corn, vegetables, they don't have subsidies for vegetables. To get other stuff, different counties have different requirements for what is farmed.
In other counties, I mean it could be as many as ten acres, it's certainly a lot more than three acres, and I don't know all the ins and outs now we've waited. Vehicles, all that kind of stuff, but it's, you know, it's a whole kinda thing. But it would be nice to see, you know, some kind of tax break, just on this land would be you pretty cool, you know.
I mean the USDA grant that we got [INAUDIBLE] was cool. I mean, it's $9,000, but it's not free money, you have to show what is the income.
>> Nick Kane: Yeah, [LAUGH].
>> Kim Shaw: So yeah we have to pay taxes on it. So it's not, you know, here's nine grand [SOUND].
It's like, here's nine grand, and then the IRS is like. What [INAUDIBLE] with that nine grand? [LAUGH] No, no [INAUDIBLE]. I'm like my god, really? So.
>> Nick Kane: Was the barren taking a hit with the recent land reevaluation?
>> Kim Shaw: No, the land reevaluation hit was that down there.
>> Nick Kane: The land down there?
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, that went up, whatever that was, $30,000, yeah. And then the land that this house sits on, that's the hit. So I don't know, it depends what the property taxes come back at so I don't know. I don't know with the kind of hit loss we'd take in terms of property taxes, so we'll see.
>> Nick Kane: Do you see that as a bigger future problem later on?
>> Kim Shaw: I mean, I do see it as a bigger problem being this close in. And you know, I mean, this is, I mean, this is, you know, people think, well, I mean it is the hood I guess?
And I don't know if it will stay the hood forever. But, if ever this does come up, you know, if somebody sells all these rental properties, and I don't know, I mean, that would be huge. We couldn't, I mean, if this property value just goes insane, I mean, it would just be outrageous.
Cuz I mean, like in a big city who the **** would farm three acres, five minutes, five miles from bucket. I mean, nobody would do that, because the land would be worth so much, you'd sell it. Which is why there aren't real urban farms in big cities, because if somebody comes along.
I mean, you saw that Paul family farm just sold for $21 million, for whatever, 11 acres. That's $2 million an acre. You don't think for a second if somebody offered me $2 billion dollars for that acre down there, I wouldn't be like, see ya, ****? Bye bye, packing it up.
>> Nick Kane: That's a lot of miniature horses for you.
>> Kim Shaw: That's a lot of miniature horses down at the beach now, we're not even in Charlotte any more we're too middle. Yeah, I'm the **** out of here so. And it's hard to, you know, and it it's hard to say to people why would you do that?
It's like are you kidding me? Like you'd be crazy not to. I mean I think about that at Brent sometimes, I'm like God almighty that property of his up the side of I-85, I mean.
>> Kim Shaw: I mean that probably's got it worth a **** fortune, you know? But, that's the thing, people love the idea of this, and the idea of urban farming and all that.
>> Kim Shaw: Do they love it enough to when this property is worth a half a million dollars or whatever to be like, since you're urban farming, we're gonna give you the tax break, you know? Did they love it that much, or are they okay for this to be packed up and made into a sub-development, and we'll just get our stuff from you know, Stanley County, or whatever other you know?
I mean that's the thing.
>> Nick Kane: So, you'd have to really love it to stay in when someone offers you that much money, really?
>> Kim Shaw: I don't know, you'd have to be out of your **** mind to stay, I mean you really would. I mean it would just be,
>> Kim Shaw: I mean, unless you have some sort of like really deep sentimentality, you know if it was family land. You know, something like that. Yeah then maybe, but otherwise you'd be crazy to do it, I mean, you'd be absolutely insane not to go, give me the money. You know, in my dreams it'd be great to have like a farm conservation easement here.
And like, this is all that can be done with this, but when Ron and I go to sell this, who's going to buy this and farm it? I mean, truly would we even be able to sell this [INAUDIBLE], you know, I don't know, in this neighborhood? I mean, I don't know.
>> Nick Kane: Would do you think about the development around here is almost a death spell for probably future [INAUDIBLE].
>> Kim Shaw: I think there has to be incentives, there has to be, well I don't know, I mean honestly,
>> Kim Shaw: It's just kind of the way it is, I think that the more your property is worth, is it being illogical to keep it to farm it, when it's worth so much money to turn over in the development, I mean, I don't know those guys at Whole Family Farm, but $21 million by will buy you a **** ton of land out in the middle of nowhere.
I mean you can live like a star in South Carolina for $21 million, I mean, holy **** [INAUDIBLE]. What is the incentive of urban farming, except do people like it? People like idea [INAUDIBLE] they love the idea of this, a farm in a city? How charming, that's so cute [INAUDIBLE].
But, I mean, how much do you love it, you know, really? Do they love it enough to [INAUDIBLE] since we've started. [INAUDIBLE]
$3 a pound, that's it. It's absolutely insane. So when you're looking at that, [INAUDIBLE]. Yeah [INAUDIBLE] 12 years ago [INAUDIBLE] paying a lot **** less than you're paying now.
And in another 12 years what's your tuition gonna cost? I mean you know, but it's still $3 for a pound of tomatoes, it makes no sense, it's crazy.
>> Nick Kane: [INAUDIBLE] Rectify that soon?
>> Kim Shaw: I don't see how, I mean, that's what people are getting for it, it's really crazy.
I mean, and I don't know how to change [INAUDIBLE]. I think that once Charlotte gets bigger, I think that things will change. But I also think a lot of other things are gonna have to happen. When I first moved to Charlotte and I was working for a catering company in like 99 and in 2000 as a lead server at Kate and Company I was making $16 an hour, that was almost 20 years ago.
Like nobody, wages haven't changed so I can't really ask you for more that three bucks for the damn tomato when you're still working as a **** catering company probably for $14 an hour now. You know, wages have to come up, all that ****, I mean my god we are gonna to have to start drinking if we are going to be talking about that.
>> Nick Kane: [INAUDIBLE]
>> Kim Shaw: [LAUGH] For sure, I mean all of that has to change you can't ask people, you know, that's why places like Walmart exists because you still buy **** $2 Well, a T-shirt and I have some of those T-shirts, can you buy? That's the same, it's really crazy.
>> Nick Kane: Think Costco hasn't changed their prices for those [INAUDIBLE] operation, you have an in house operation that with like that.
>> Kim Shaw: [LAUGH] Yeah, right, exactly yeah.
>> Nick Kane: So what are your thoughts on the I mean, do you see this, I know I asked you something similar. But is this you're gonna have to fight with the city council for breaks?
Or is it just something eventually that's gonna go away?
>> Kim Shaw: I mean, I think breaks would be nice.
>> Kim Shaw: But I think in a larger way people are gonna have to understand that they're gonna have to pay more for food. And I think it's really hard to ask people to pay more for food when wages haven't changed.
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, the system is just not set up for that.
>> Kim Shaw: I mean, food should be more expensive, I mean, when I was in college, there was a $0.99 burger at McDonald's. I remember it, cuz we used to get Liftly Pennerly's to go get it. It was good, it had like a cheese sauce something, **** good, you can still get it a God damn, I mean, [INAUDIBLE].
I mean, how the **** is that possible [INAUDIBLE] I have no idea, but I mean it should be [INAUDIBLE]. The college that I went to when I was up there when I won the 17,000 is now 46,000, but the burger is still nice [INAUDIBLE] that's the fundamental problem.
>> Nick Kane: I think the price would reflect the [INAUDIBLE]
>> Kim Shaw: I mean, it really does, I mean, I think that we're growing just as good as stuff we did ten years ago, people are happy with cheap food, people love cheap food. And it's weird, people love cheap food, but when they're out, they'll pay $3.25 for a gun Coke and it's like, wait?
What account that's not even [INAUDIBLE] entree are sort of the same, now, your crap cocktail is at $14, it's like hold on [INAUDIBLE] you get a well plate for $5 [INAUDIBLE].
So it's like what the hell, so ten years ago you get a basket of bread with your food, you probably get a salad with your entree.
That's gone away. So that's the way restaurants were able to do and when they're be like and go around things. I mean, you know, really good restaurants. Nobody serves a **** filet anymore, it's all different cuts of meat, it's just, unless you go into a steak house, it's a much much different approach, the proteins aren't as big.
Unless you're going somewhere where that's just their thing. But portions are smaller, there are a lot of tasting menus, so you sort of think that you are getting kind of less. And it's like you get three of the tasting things and they were all $12 it's like, okay, I guess, I got a $36 entree.
But it didn't seem that bad when I was ordering it, so. God, I could just go on forever about this **** [LAUGH] there's no solution!
>> Nick Kane: Any final remarks or closing thoughts on urban farming or anything really?
>> Kim Shaw: Or anything? [LAUGH]
>> Nick Kane: Not all anything, but something related to this.
>> Kim Shaw: [LAUGH] You know it's a good life, I mean, it is in the sense of I am my own boss. I mean, at this time of the year, I'm right now, sowing that's my thing, sowing. I made all the aprons for Stanley and I made Paul's apron that he just wore at the Charleston Food and Wine.
So it's pretty handy to have some other revenue stream at this time of year while we're waiting to get started, but, yeah, I'm really glad that I don't have a boss and that is really cool. I break up, I'm here with my three dogs, and I'm doing stuff that I wanna do.
So it's a big trade off. I mean, it beats working for a country that where all you're doing is kissing a lot of really rich people's **** all day long. I like being at that planner, but it's like that. That's a lot ass-kissing and as you can see I'm like, maybe not my forte [LAUGH].
So, yeah, people are cool with not having a bunch of money [INAUDIBLE] not having a bunch of money.
>> Kim Shaw: Yeah, I mean, it's definitely a trade-off, but I think all of [INAUDIBLE] participate in everything, but I mean, it definitely is an effort.
>> Kim Shaw: [INAUDIBLE]
it's all good, it's all good.
>> Nick Kane: All right, all right, thank you.[tabby title='Captioned Audio'] [tabbyending]