Neal Woody, Woody Farms
Packing and Grading Facility
Grant Award: $6,000
Neal is building an on-farm packing facility and adding a well to improve the washing and grading system at his Leicester farm. This centralized grading shed reduces labor costs as well as provides a cleaner, more accessible facility for the farm to use now and into the future. Neal said he currently spends too much time hauling fresh water and clean tubs to the fields that are being picked.
Neal is following Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) in building the packing facility, which not only leads to improved sanitation, but also “curb appeal” of the vegetables. The produce can be thoroughly cleaned and sorted for the ideal range of size and color. The shed also serves as a retail location for customers to buy direct from the farm.
“Consumers will have a friendship with Woody Farms and be able to shake the hand of the farmer that provides food for their family,” he said.
The remaining produce is sold at the WNC Farmers Market at Asheville and donated to the Leicester Welcome Table, which provides fellowship and a free nourishing meal weekly to 80-120 people.
Produce sales replace lost income from tobacco, which Neal has farmed since 1967. He is making improvements so that his son David can take over a profitable farm.