Each month, MSAN will highlight one of the many hard-working producers here in Mississippi making a difference in their communities by committing to natural, sustainable, and regenerative models of agriculture. It’s not just about good food; it’s about good people.
* * * *
Drive down a winding country road in Columbus, Mississippi, pass a trailer park, and you’ll end up on Scott and Lydia Enlow’s Black Creek Farm. The land was once farmed by Native Americans, then Scott’s dad, and now he and Lydia.
While Scott’s dad was a successful hog farmer, he himself had no intentions of going into farming. So, off to the grocery stores he and Lydia went, but there, they could not find food they were willing to put in their bodies. Thus, they decided to forgo the chemical- laden, GMO-infused, unsustainably produced, imported food found in the rows of the supermarket for rows of homegrown, organically, sustainably, and proudly raised food of their own garden.
Starting thirteen years ago with a basic home garden and a small flock of laying chickens, the transition wasn’t easy, as Scott himself confesses he, like so many raised on the idea that post-WWII, industrial agricultural was safer and easier, was reluctant and skeptical of sustainable methods. He quickly realized, however, that growing organically produces, better, healthier, and tastier food. In fact, it was so good, they couldn’t keep it to themselves as neighbors and friends were always wanting to enjoy the harvest, too.
Soon their backyard garden expanded into a farm business where today customers can drive right up to the land during any season and pick up chosen produce or meet the Enlows at the local farmer’s market (get there early and prepare to stand in line as Black Creek Farm’s vegetables, fruits, herbs, and eggs are always in high demand).
Yet, although they employ sustainable and organic methods such as amending the soil with compost, manure, leaf litter, wood ash, eggshells, coffee and tea grounds; using only organic fungicides and insecticides; rotating crops; and keeping bees on the property; they are no longer certified organically grown. This isn’t because they don’t meet the requirements but because the certification is too costly for their 23 acre farm. However, it’s not about certification for the Enlows but about growing food that they feel safe putting in their own bodies. With Lydia’s background in nursing, she is all too familiar with the harmful effects of industrial agriculture—such as the extreme overuse of hormones, chemicals, and antibiotics on plants and livestock and the detrimental effects they have on the human body when consumed. Thus, they raise their produce in rich bottom land soil using organic methods, and offer eggs from their pasture raised, free range flock of chickens which are fed a diet of all natural feed. Since the farm is ever expanding, for a complete list of what is available, it’s best to call them at (662) 329-9147.
With the luck of the Irish (Lydia is Irish, and Scott is a Celtic musician) and a passion for healthy food, Black Creek Farm will continue to happily sustain not only the Enlows, but the land on which they live and all of the people they feed.
By Shaundi Wall, MSAN Outreach Coordinator
Photos by Danny Klimetz