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An Act of Faith

Four years ago, a mortgage broker and his wife moved from Naples, Florida, to North Carolina in the wake of the 2008 recession and bought 40 acres of land to start a farm.

In Snow Camp, N.C., an unincorporated community in Alamance County, John Campbell spends his days working on what he calls an "act of faith." He wakes up before 8 a.m. everyday to tend to Dinner Bell Farm, a farm nestled in the North Carolina countryside just 40 minutes south from UNC-Chapel Hill. Using regenerative techniques to give back to the Earth as much as he takes out, "We’re market garden farmers. I grow things for this garden that I sell to restaurants and CSA and to farmer’s market," he says. He helps supply about 5,500 people in Snow Camp and even more beyond with fresh, local produce.

And with Dinner Bell Farm, he wants to leave a legacy, a feat easier said than done. "I’m reworking this, whether it’s really gonna work or not. ‘Cause I’m afraid it isn’t working," Campbell says. "I could have a job, I could make $50,000 pretty easy doing something... I make 0 per year. And then I spend everything that the farm makes." His children, Sarah and James have recently expressed interested in contributing to the four-year-old farm. "I wanted, when I started, to create a business here in this field that [they] could take over if they wanted to."

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