For What We Worked
By Matthew Jernigan
Simon Rose and Natasha McCurtey started farming together more than five years ago. Now well established on Simon’s parent’s land they run a diversified farm called Small Potatoes Farm growing vegetables through the season and raising goats, pigs, chickens and cows. They sell throughout the year at Johnny’s coffee shop in Carrboro and the Durham Farmer’s Market during the summer. Though mostly managed by the couple, they acquire seasonal help from a family friend, Johnny, who assists with all farm related tasks. The newest member of the family, Oscar, also comes along with Simon and Natasha for most of the work on the farm.
Farming was a choice that Simon made while still attending college. Though finding more purpose and fulfillment in the practice of cultivating food he decided to leave school before graduating and first work at a farm in Virginia before starting his own. For Natasha, it was her family in Colombia who initially introduced her to this lifestyle through spending time on her Grandfather’s farm in the country. Together they made the decision to start a farm and have been farming ever since.
The lifestyle they live is one closer to the land lived more simply, and for that I believe their story is telling of a potential shift in American culture. A changing relationship with the food we eat, the place we inhabit and the way we live our lives. Choosing to provide the surrounding area with local produce, dairy and meat they redefine the connections we share with each other. Not only do they work to supply the materials for a more local food culture, they actively participate themselves in the expression of a new collective narrative. The way they live is itself a statement. A questioning of how we currently go about meeting our needs.