| Jessie Ammons
Adam Sherwood and Emily Madara, both 27, are the farm entrepreneurs at Mighty Tendril Farm. On two rented acres in Randolph County, they’re growing salad and cooking greens, root vegetables, small fruits, fresh herbs, and even cut-able flowers. We got the basics about this mighty duo.
Adam and Emily felt that same pull toward understanding their food that many new farm entrepreneurs feel. The only thing that could entirely quell their curiosity was to get their hands dirty, and then there was no turning back. Farming has deepened their love of food because it’s added another layer. They say they’ve learned “how to collaborate with natural ecosystems to feed both our community and ourselves.” The two thrive on teamwork, too. “Farming allows us to work together to create abundance from small seeds,” they say.
Mighty Tendril grows in “good old Southern clay” using tried-and-true methods. Adam and Emily cultivate with hand tools, occulate through tarping, and use mulch with landscape fabric and aisle cover crops to ensure maximum quality. Drip irrigation comes from a well. Since clay soil can become waterlogged, “we raise our planting beds to offset the risk of plants’ roots flooding.”
Third Time’s a Charm
The two are relative young’ns in the farming world. Although they both have many years of experience, this is their third year owning and operating an enterprise of their own. A fun fact: Adam and Emily farm off Highway 64 just inside the Randolph County line on farm property with multiple historic and recognizable farm structures (envision a village of old tobacco barns!). Along with resident farmers, the property owners, friends of Adam and Emily, hope these structures will be used to cluster artists and crafters-in -esidence in the future. Adam and Emily have their eyes set on owning farm land in Silk Hope in the next year.
Among their favorite crops? The first sweet strawberries of spring and then spicy(ish) Padron peppers later in the summer. They also love okra, ye olde Southern favorite. And Mighty Tendril’s bounty isn’t only edible — dahlia season is never disappointing.
On a personal note, Adam and Emily say Mighty Tendril is easily “the most fulfilling” work they’ve ever done. It’s also fun. “It’s a thrill to see the smiles on customers’ faces when they see our booth full of colorful flowers and produce,” the two say. “The rewards are tangible. We are lucky to eat the fruits of our labor.”