Farmer Profile: Tsara Farm

Megan Shrum and Dave Meyer first became interested in agriculture while they had jobs abroad in conservation. “Dave and I worked in Madagascar conducting research on lemurs and their habitat,” Megan explains, “After several years, it was clear that sustainable agriculture was one of the necessary steps toward the conservation of the remaining forests in the areas where we worked.” The couple also realized this to be true of conservation in the United States. After they returned home, Megan and Dave began growing their own food. They first rented a plot at the Carpenter Park community garden, and in 2018 made the short leap across the street to Good Hope Farm. Megan and Dave are now the proud owners of Tsara Farm and are in their second growing season.

In keeping with their commitment to conservation, Megan and Dave practice regenerative farming. This method aims to build up the quality of soil, water, and biodiversity on the farm. “We feel strongly about making the lowest impact possible,” Megan says, “[We] practice regenerative agriculture by using a low to no-till method, building up our soil with organic material, and providing food and habitat for beneficial insects and wildlife.” Megan and Dave aspire to farm on their own land someday, and Good Hope Farm gives them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and gain confidence in their ability to grow quality food. “I have a wonderful network of fellow farmers who are all more than willing to give advice, share in triumphs and share failures and frustrations,” Megan says. “We are also incredibly fortunate to have such a large population of people and chefs who care about how their food is grown and support their local farms.”

Having lived in the Triangle for almost two decades, farming at Good Hope was the perfect opportunity for Megan and Dave to stay in their community. “We feel very humbled and privileged to be a steward to some of the last remaining farm land in the town that we love,” Megan says. “It allows us to have an even smaller footprint because our farmer’s market is seven miles from the farm!” Their knowledge of the community prior to launching their business was key to Megan and Dave’s success. Megan and Dave cater to customers who enjoy common household favorites like tomatoes and okra, and they also experiment with produce items that are not typically seen on grocery store shelves, including blue potatoes and lime basil. “We want to disrupt monoculture by providing unique varieties of produce that some people have never had the opportunity to eat before,” Megan says. You can visit Megan and Dave this summer at the Cary Downtown Farmers Market, or at our Summer Farm Stand Wednesdays 5-7PM.