By Taylor Parrish
Growing up in the farming industry instilled a passion for agriculture in Ronnie Moore that he could never shake. Although his current farm, Ronnie Moore’s Fruits & Veggies, was not started until 2000, his family farmed tobacco, beans and sweet potatoes for nearly 80 years.
“The-200 acre farm in Newton Grove has stayed in Ronnie’s family and mine for many generations,” Stephanie, Ronnie’s wife, said, “and we still have all the original tobacco barns, but today we use them for growing hemp instead.” In addition to hemp, the Moore’s currently grow a variety of vegetables, herbs and fresh cut flowers, including tomatoes and basil.
“Growing up I knew that I wanted to be in horticulture because I have a strong love for flowers,” Stephanie said, “and when I married a farmer, we decided to go in together to operate the current farm you see today.”
A typical day on the farm starts at 6 a.m. by loading the vans that go to the farmers market each day and getting water kegs ready and on harvest vehicles. Ronnie and Stephanie spend the rest of their mornings either helping crews pick produce in the fields or grading produce in the warehouse.
“We run our packing house five days a week, so sometimes I have to help to ensure everything gets done,” Stephanie said, “but when I am not there, I am out at our roadside stand near Newton Grove or the State Farmers Market meeting customers and selling produce.”
The Moore family takes a lot of pride in using organic seeds and no GMOs on their farm. It was something instilled in them at a very young age. “Our grandparents taught us to do things this way,” Stephanie said. Although the uncertainty of the weather each year can produce a challenge, the Moore family finds relationships that they have made with customers over the years to be incredibly rewarding. “Seeing people happy at what they are eating and knowing that we grew it from a seed is a huge source of pride for us,” Stephanie said.
They also take immense pride in their children and the hard work they do on the farm each day. “We have three children, Cheryl, 19, Gracie, 16, and Bryson, 15,” Stephanie said, “they help us on the farm everyday and we honestly couldn’t do this without them. We are so proud of them and it is an honor to get to work alongside them each and every day.”
In addition to offering their products at their roadside stand, the State Farmers Market and the farmers market by WakeMed, Ronnie Moore’s Produce also works with local restaurants, schools and businesses to provide them with fresh produce boxes. These corporations have a variety of boxes to choose from, including a premium box, which according to Stephanie features a “little bit of everything,” a smaller box featuring a variety of produce from the farm and a salad box featuring vegetables only.
In the future, the Moore family would like to offer a “build your own” produce box option. When they are not farming, you can find the Moore family hanging out by their pond swimming and fishing together.
-NC Department of Agriculture News