By Kitsey Burns Harrison
EAST BEND — Upon retirement, most couples plan to take it easy. Maybe travel some, or take up a hobby like painting or woodworking. But not the Jacques family. When Mike and Pat Jacques retired, they bought land for the purpose of creating an organic farm.
In 2010, the couple purchased land on Flint Hill Road which had been part of the Brann family farm known as Crestview. Here they grow a variety of organic vegetables, herbs and flowers. They plan to expand the farm little by little each year, adding in new and unusual plants to their gardens.
Pat Jacques said prior to retirement they already had been doing some gardening and planting and did want to do something more once they retired.
“I don’t think that we had this much bigger in mind when we talked about it,” she said with a laugh.
The Jacques sell their produce as well as some other products at the Yadkin Farmers Market and the Let It Grow Produce store on Country Club Road in Winston-Salem.
“We’re buying into a lifestyle more than a business,” Pat Jacques said.
On their property, Enon Meadows Farm, the Jacques follow strict organic growing practices. They seek to plant crops that are resistant to pests and plants flowers and herbs that attract beneficial pollinators to the farm.
Tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, peppers and squash are among the crops grown at Enon Meadows Farm, along with some more unusual items like watermelon berries. Zinnias and sunflowers are also among the things grown on the farm.
“We try to grow native heirloom varieties, things that have already shown they are adapted to this area and will resist pests,” Jacques said.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, Jacques also sells flower bouquets and wreaths. She also makes resin jewelry and wool laundry balls, which eliminate static and help dry clothes faster without the use of chemical-laden dryer sheets.
“That’s a product I feel good about,” Jacques said.
In the future, the Jacques are planning to increase the number of plants to the property that will attract butterflies, Monarchs in particular so they can become a Monarch Waystation. According to MonarchWatch.org, the natural habitats and plants that sustain the Monarch butterflies are declining due the increasing use of herbicides.
Jacques also said in the future she hopes to offer classes at the farm for others who want to learn about organic growing practices, herbs, wreath-making, composting, preserving herbs etc.
Though the summer growing season is over, the Jacques are already busy getting seedlings started for the winter and next season’s crops. For more information on Enon Meadows Farm, call 336-413-6467.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.