Farmer Profile: One Soil Farm

Meredith Cohen was introduced to organic agriculture at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Connecticut. After three years of working at the center as a farm apprentice and goat herd manager, she moved back to her home state of North Carolina with a love of farming and a desire to connect to Jewish community here in the Triangle. “[I] was lucky enough to spend the next two seasons working for incredible farms in the area,” Meredith says. In 2018, she launched her agribusiness, One Soil Farm, at Good Hope Farm with a mission to grow local food for her Jewish community in Durham. “[I] am thrilled to have the opportunity to grow food for my community and to share my combined love of Judaism and farming,” she says.

 

Farming in an urban area allows Meredith to provide fresh, local food to her customers. “I have a weekly farm stand on Sunday mornings at the Levin Jewish Community Center in Durham,” she says. “Farming at Good Hope, less than a half hour away from my community, has allowed me easy access to my chosen market.” It’s not only access to land that helps Meredith reach her customers and grow her business. “Good Hope provides me with access to infrastructure that I cannot yet afford,” she says. All farmers on site have shared access to a greenhouse, tractors, a walk-in cooler, and irrigation. Meredith is also appreciative of the relationships she has built with other farmers at Good Hope. “Farming can be isolating work, and it is so helpful and motivating to have other farmers around to strategize and commiserate with,” she says. “I’ve made friends and learned new things that I wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to.”

 

Meredith enjoys sharing her love of farming and helping to connect others with the land. “I believe that providing people with direct experiences on land can be truly life-changing,” she says. “Urban farms can be a powerful agent of change in our world.” Good Hope Farm strives to connect community members who may not have experience in agriculture to the land through educational opportunities and monthly workdays. “It is very powerful for the community to see preserved farmland in the midst of a rapidly developing area,” Meredith says, “to actually see farmers growing food sustainably on this land, and providing that food directly to the community.” Meredith is looking forward to participating in the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Piedmont Farm Tour on April 27th and 28th. Come out to meet Meredith and get a tour of Good Hope Farm!