Wild Hope Farm is Connecting Land to Community in Chester, South Carolina
We recently visited one of our farm favorites, Wild Hope Farm in Chester, South Carolina. We got acquainted with Wild Hope because of our addiction to their flavorful shishito peppers purchased at the Matthews Community Farmers’ Market in Matthews, North Carolina. Their high-quality vegetables and obvious knowledge of sustainable, organic farming had us hooked. Soon we started noticing the Wild Hope Farm truck zooming around Charlotte and talked to people who had used their organic produce farm share program (CSA) and loved it.
Wild Hope Farm is on land deeply rooted in farming – from cotton to corn to dairy cows, the land has seen its share of growth and renewal. Purchased in 1997 by Tim and Sarah Belk it was used for many years as a family getaway but still always included some element of farming including chickens, horses, and many, many flowers.
Sarah Belk had a deep love for farming and its connection with community. From 2009-2015 she and a group of friends ran the Charlotte-based Common Grounds, a volunteer farm stand with a goal to end chronic homelessness. The Belk family always knew she had a “wild hope” to do more with farming, and dreamed of a sustainable, organic operation that would nurture the ecosystem but also create a community kinship to the land.
When Tim Belk retired as CEO of Belk department stores in 2016, the two began musing on the vision of turning her wild hope into reality with their 220-acre family farm in Chester. Shortly thereafter, Wild Hope Farm officially started.
On the day we visited, we toured the facilities, Fall crops, chicken coups, and the land with daughter, Katherine Belk (Peanut), the farm’s Connector. Riding around with her on “mule,” the farm’s UTV, we could clearly feel her love for the land and the vision for a self-sustaining, organic farm. Wild Hope Farm has a small dedicated team which also includes Shawn Jadrnicek, the Farm Manager and Designer. Shawn was previously the manager of Clemson University's Student Organic Farm and is author of the book, “The Bio-Integrated Farm.”
Through events at the farm and their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, Wild Hope Farm is succeeding in connecting the land to the community. Just imagine picking up a weekly basket of fresh from the earth, organic vegetables raised organically and sustainably by good people who love growing good food. Sign us up!
For more information on Wild Hope Farm and their CSA program:
FOLLOW THEM ON INSTAGRAM (they’re always doing cool farm stuff!)