Maverick Farms 2014: 10 years and new focus




Maverick Farms and DOT threats : update 2/26/2013

Dear friends of Maverick Farms,

On Monday afternoon, we had our first face to-face meeting with with the NC Dept of Transportation (DOT). Two officials, Mike Pettyjohn (North Wilkesboro) and Ivan Dishman (Boone) visited the farm. Maverick Farms executive director Hillary Wilson, her partner, farmer Worth Kimmel, and, co-landowner Bill Wilson, attended the meeting, along with Chapel Hill environmental attorney John Runkle.

The meeting was neither good nor bad. On the plus side, the DOT announced it will not actually be making a take-it-or-leave offer next week, as they told us three weeks ago. Instead, they said they will "look into alternatives" and get back to us “soon.” The engineers made clear that this decision to delay the proceedings was a result of public pressure brought to bear by our supporters. This is a clear victory—THANKS TO YOU, our supporters!

But the engineers added that the bridges on the road that run through our farm are "functionally obsolete and structurally deficient" simply because they are one-lane bridges. We dispute this assessment--the bridges can handle a reasonable amount of traffic as long as they are properly maintained. Worse still, they claimed the DOT no longer builds one-way bridges. The implication: the bridges must not only be replaced—meaning that a new road must be routed through our fields, since the road dead-ends—and must also be expanded dramatically, and tricked out with large culverts.

In short, DOT wants to spend $820,000 to destroy the farm. The only hope we have is to continue the pressure on these people until they find some alternatives.

About Maverick Farms: Maverick Farms is a 501(c)3 educational

non-profit dedicated to promoting family farming as a community

resource and expanding access to healthy food by reconnecting local

food networks in the High Country of North Carolina. In 2009, Maverick

Farms launched High Country CSA (HCCSA), a multi-farm project that

links area farmers and consumers. HCCSA is committed to being

accessible to low-income community members—it accepts EBT benefits as

payment and works with the Appalachian District Health Department, the

Children’s Coalition, and the Community Care Clinic to make subsidized

shares availble to low-income families. In 2012, HCCSA had 100

members. In 2012, Maverick launched the Farmer Incubator and Grower

program in conjunction with Appalachian State Community's Sustainable

Development Department. In addition, Maverick grows vegetables and

eggs for sale at the Watauga County Farmers Market. Learn more at or


Ivan Dishman - division of highways

PO Box 1460

Boone, NC 28607

Mike Pettyjohn

PO Box 250

North Wilkesboro, NC 28659

James Palermo  District 11 DOT

C/O Division 11 DOT

Box 250

North Wilkesboro, NC 28659

 Anthony Tata, NC Secretary of Transportation


RALEIGH NC 27699-1501



Nathan Miller, Chairman Watauga County Board of Commissioners

814 West King Street, Suite 205

Boone, North Carolina 28607

2014 marks the 10-year anniversary of Maverick Farms. We are so proud of all the programs and work we've accomplished over the last ten years!


This year the focus on the FIG project and beginning farmers in the high country. This year there are 5 beginning, landless farmers at FIG and the land at Maverick is under the cultivation of Waxwing Farm.


Be sure to check out the FIG website and facebook for more information about what's happening or find the beginning farmers at the Watauga County Farmers Market.



Maverick Farms in 2015

As the summer season kicks off, we are very pleased that things are in full-swing around the farm. The land is being worked with love and dedication, and each project has become independent. This transition is a great success--from the first day of Maverick Farms in 2004, our goal was to create sustainable projects that could run without depending on any single individual or group of people. The High Country CSA is now operated by the farmers who grow for it, under the non-profit umbrella of WAMY. FIG is run cooperatively by the people who farm there. Hillary and Worth are farming full time at Pine Trough Branch ( in Reidsville, NC. Tom is writing full-time for Mother Jones Magazine ( Waxwing Farm ( is growing in the fields around the farmhouse, and the FIG Farm is home to Lively Up Farm (, Octupus Garden (, and Goldenrod Gardens (, as well as a community garden space for new and landless farmers.


Our deepest thanks to all the many, many people who have worked at the farm over all the years. The land has been a constant source of inspiration and reinvention.


The ROAD. The three one-lane bridges and unpaved road that runs by the farmhouse and fields continues to be a major stress. We worked very closely with DOT engineers, our lawyer, community supporters, and the neighboring property owners throughout 2014 to find an alternate route for the road, and thought we had reached a compromise that would preserve almost all of the farmland. However, for reasons completely outside our control, this compromise collapsed. The DOT seems to be currently focused on the first bridge on Justus Road, on the adjacent property. We have been put into a holding pattern (now almost three full years), which has deeply affected our ability to make long-term land use decisions. It has also delayed much-needed maintenance on the buildings alongside the road and the fields. It has also already cost thousands of dollars in legal bills. We deeply appreciate the support we have received over the past years--it is absolutely clear that without community support, we would not have been able to prevent the DOT's initial push to destroy the fields.The road issue is on-going, and we will provide an update as soon as we get additional information.


For now, this website will serve as an archive for Maverick Farms projects and will be infrequently updated. Please check out the websites for each individual project to stay up-to-date, and email for additional information. Thank you!