Portrait of Stanley Hughes by Kate Medley
“Well, it’s the people. The people really support what you’re doing. You know, they’re there for you.”
~ Stanley Hughes
The unincorporated community of Hurdle Mills, North Carolina, lies thirty miles north of the Carrboro Farmers’ Market. It is there that Stanley Hughes and his family—including his teenage daughter, Xandria, and his wife, Linda Leach—maintain Pine Knot Farms. This land, over one hundred acres of it, has been in the Hughes family for nearly a century. It is the land he grew up on. Stanley follows in the tobacco-farming tradition of his father, uncles, and grandfather, but in the last 15 years he has transitioned his tobacco crop to certified organic. In addition to the tobacco, Stanley also grows certified organic fruits and vegetables, which he sells through CSA shares, directly to area restaurants, and at both the Carrboro and Durham Farmers’ Markets. They bring to Market a wide variety of vegetables including sweet potatoes, collards, kale, cabbage, broccoli, winter squash, turnips, and greens. Stanley represents a segment of farming that uses old-fashioned farming techniques such as tobacco barn-cured sweet potatoes. On Saturdays at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market, Linda takes pride in creating eye-catching displays and handing out samples, while Stanley’s sociability has earned him the nickname “Mayor of the Carrboro Market.”
Look for the rest of the interviews from our Carrboro Famers' Market oral history project to appear online soon.