Mike and Sara Hedge, Hedge Family Farm
Wash-Pack Facility Farm Expansion
Grant Award: $8,000
Sara and Mike have increased their growing space over the past year by 300% and the volume of produce harvested is creating a bottleneck in their operation. Currently, the farm utilizes seven different areas spread out as far as a mile to meet the washing, storage, and preparation needs of the farm.
The proposed project consolidated all of these activities in one place and provides seasonal curing space for storage crops. They have increased efficiency of their post-harvest productions by adding a walk-in cooler and adjacent wash/pack station to an existing building on their farm. Their previous arrangement required them to use up to seven different areas over a mile distance to wash and store their harvested produce. The new equipment has made a huge difference in their daily routines. Not only are they saving time, the cooler area allows them to maintain cold storage at two different temperatures. The renovated space has also presented an opportunity to host on-farm events. They recently hosted a seated dinner for 50 people and planned to host a Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA) event.
The Hedges sell in markets in Boone and Hickory and they also have a weekly CSA. They are one of the largest producers in Caldwell County