By Rebecca Jones, special to the News-Times
CARTERET COUNTY — When the weather is perfect and the soil is great, it is easy to be a farmer. It is hard with the challenges of leaky barn roofs, spider mites that kill off the plants one by one and too much rain ruining crops. But farmers know when you can’t control what is happening, you can control how you respond to what’s happening. That is where the power and perseverance of a farmer is. That is how the summer of 2021 was for The Farm at Bogue.
The Farm at Bogue is a small family farm located in Bogue. They grow some of the finest fruits and vegetables, with their specialty in hydroponic greens and vine production. Farmers Bert Guthrie Hadden and Justin Guthrie are siblings who grew up on the farm, working in the fields and at their family’s roadside market.
The farm has been in their family for many generations, originating on their mother’s side of the family. While farming wasn’t any of their original career choices, they found themselves with the desire to carry on the tradition while adding new and evolving elements. They love the land and water and take their responsibility of being good stewards of both very seriously while providing the best quality of nutritious deliciousness you can find.
The challenges have been fierce this year, and yet, Bert and Justin say, “We appreciate all the love and support that people have sent our way. It means more than you know. And we also send out our love to all the farmers out there who were swamped in this soggy mess.”
Bert says, “I wear a bandana around my neck to wipe the sweat, and to also wipe the tears.” There were bright spots to 2021. They had the opportunity and pleasure of hosting a farm to table dinner and to share about their farming practices, gave tours of their hydroponic greenhouse and made new friends. Although they are not certified organic, they do incorporate organic and natural growing practices into their methods to increase sustainability while decreasing their footprint. They do not use herbicides or chemical pesticides. In their indoor hydroponic garden, they use a recirculating method to water their crops with a tank of nutrient rich water that is fed to the plants through pumps and plumbing, then drained and collected and returned back to the tank.
There is always hope for the next growing season. A farmer is taught to be tough and take life as it comes, to never give up on your dreams, and most importantly, never forget where you came from. It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the spring and reaps a harvest in the autumn. The Farm at Bogue is more than a business. It is the family farm, a lifestyle, and an ideal that is worth preserving.