August 17, 2022
Little Creek Market offers market baskets filled with seasonal vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Additionally, their farm store offers homegrown meat, flowers and additional farm products, further emphasizing their farm-to-table goal. The farm operates with every family member taking a role. Two of those getting the work done are Miriam Lewis and Jessica Anderson, Miriam’s daughter-in-law.
Although already involved in farming, Miriam and Jessica decided to enter a niche market and fulfill a need within the community by providing products such as pecans, honey, cut flowers, beef, pork, and vegetables. Jessica explained not only did cut-flowers fulfill a niche in their local markets, but also attract pollinators, which help the overall growth of crops on the farm. At first, having so many operations all working at once was daunting and seemed nearly impossible to manage. However, cooperation and trust in the family helped lead to success. Allowing individuals to have their own responsibilities, has allowed each operation to run smoothly and independently of each other.
Furthermore, Jessica discussed the importance of diversification in the success of farming - “It is so important to be diversified because if say, for example, it is too hot for my flowers to grow, our hog operation can partially cover us,” Jessica explained. Diversification also creates a more sustainable farm. Miriam explained an additional benefit of a diverse operation is the ability to support other components. Miriam gave examples such as utilizing the waste from their peanut plants as feed for the cows, or washing and using various containers, rather than discarding for new ones. “The reason why we do this is not only because it’s more economical, but also simply because it is less wasteful. We want to be as sustainable as we can,” Jessica said.
As two women who currently help operate a successful business and gained a great deal of knowledge from their experiences, they offered words of wisdom to farmers who are starting out. Miriam said there is a need for true grit. “You must be very, very passionate about farming because, believe me, sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad.” They also stressed the importance of constantly seeking advice, whether it be financial or farming related. “Talking to someone who may know a bit more than you isn’t a bad thing, it’s a smart thing,” stated Jessica.
Miriam and Jessica went beyond the norm of their farm. They noticed a need and filled it. They were not scared to make their concept a reality. Today, because of their grit and vision, Little Creek Market is providing the community with beautiful flowers, sweet honey, and nutritious foods in a sustainable way.