When someone speaks about putting money in the dirt, I immediately think about finding a shovel. However, when Carolina Jubilee founder, Zack Wyatt, speaks about putting money in the dirt, he isn’t burying money for me to dig up. What he’s doing is giving back to our local farms to assist them in purchasing day to day items that they need to succeed for years to come. It’s his way of giving back to a life he grew up in, and giving forward to generations to come (including his own five children).
Recently, I was honored enough to pick Zack’s brain about the second year of his two-day music festival he founded. He was clearly in the middle of family time, but you could feel the passion that he had with wanting to share everything about it. Being as I am, I couldn’t just ask normal questions, I had to go a bit more outside the box a couple times.
First things are first of course…Carolina Jubilee was started last year as a way to expose us to local farm life and local farm products through the joy of music and camaraderie. The lucky ones that attended Carolina Jubilee last year were met with delicious local goodness, local wine and spirits, and ear-pleasing local music. With a personal love of listening to Americana music while cooking (yes, that was one of my random questions), he used the festival as a way to bring Americana to all of his guests at the festival. It wasn’t just Americana music, but the Americana of our local North Carolina tied farms and vendors that were represented there. Nothing, in my book, ties the world of hard working farmers to music like good ol’ Americana.
This year, I’m excited to be a guest of Carolina Jubilee and its feel of true Americana, as it plays host to many many bands and local companies to provide us that perfect music festival experience. But, did you know there’s more to the festival than just your enjoyment of it? The proceeds from all ticket sales will go towards two very worthy farms, and one very passionate organization of Zacks. One organic dairy farm will be receiving a pasteurization system, and the other farm will be receiving equipment to assist in a small and rapidly growing rabbit farm. The proceeds will also go towards Zack’s organization, Carolina Farm Trust.
Carolina Farm Trust works to get land into the hands of farmers that have a plan to keep their farm in production and remain sustainable for years to come. In Zack’s own words, it’s not about purchasing land like developers do to turn it for a profit. It’s intended to be purchased and then never sold. With that in mind, it will be leased very long term to the farming community. The main goal will be to help farmers become better year after year to where it can become part of an emotional connection and become passed through their own lineage. It’s just another way his vision shows his passion and commitment to our farms.
When it comes to raising funds for Carolina Farm Trust and local farms, Zack states that Carolina Jubilee is a means to an end to raise the money he needs to sustain his vision and the successful results that become of his vision. Zack also has a strong commitment to all of us that the raising of funds will always remain transparent. It’s just another thing that i believe we can all agree on appreciating when it comes to supporting a worthy cause.
This second year of this very worthy cause, the line-up of music looks very entertaining, and the line-up of vendors even more appealing. See the music line-up here, and see a sampling of the vendor line-up here. I have to admit I’m personally stoked to see our TOPO Distillery folks out there, and also being able to dine on some deliciousness from the Chef at Heirloom in Charlotte. I’m also excited that it’s a two-day festival that allows us to camp out on the grounds at VanHoy Farms overnight.
At VanHoy Farms in Harmony, NC (what better town to be in for music, right???), September 30-October 1, is where you can enjoy all of this fun. VanHoy Farms Family Campground consists of over 100 acres of land with full camping facilities and amenities that also include shade trees (for us Gingers), and hiking areas complete with a peaceful stream to wade in. I’m happy to say this will be my first camping experience, and it seems I’ve picked the right place to start my camping adventures. After all, it does appear it will take a full two days to enjoy everything Zack and his crew have lined up for Carolina Jubilee.
With that being said, I’ve got my tickets…do you? You can follow this link to purchase them. I hope to see you out there, and if you come, do find me! I’ll be the redhead with sunscreen, bug spray, and my love in tow. Couldn’t leave him out of this adventure, as he is a part of my first time camping survival checklist….trust me, that list exists!
In closing, after just one phone conversation, I can’t tell you enough how much promise Zack and his vision show for our future, and I’ve only spoken to him on the phone. We truly need more Zacks out there to help our farmers, in all the many ways he does, when they aren’t able to help themselves. As he says, it all starts and ends with the farm. When I asked Zack another random question at the end of our delightful and educational conversation, he seemed to describe himself with the perfect answer:
What type of vegetable would you be and why?
“Oh wow. I guess I would say the white potato. It seems generic, but if it’s done right, it’s strong, powerful and durable. It has its own unique flavors on its own.”
It seems your own unique passion has become strong, powerful, and durable, Zack. You have many people that believe in you and surround you every day, so keep planting the seeds that you do in our farm communities, and keep putting money in the dirt. You’re an inspiration, and I know many of the seeds you’re planting will grow for generations to come because of you and your dreams.