A Farmer’s Daughter at Keeper Creek Farm
Jason and Brittany Chester embarked on their journey as produce farmers in 2014, working alongside Brittany's father's certified organic dairy and meat operations. They would take their products to markets, but when the dairy ceased to exist, they faced a setback. Taking time to regroup after starting a family, they relocated their "high tunnels" to their own certified organic property and made a strong comeback in 2019, following the birth of their youngest child.
The allure of Keeper Creek Farm was rooted in Brittany's connection to her aunt, Kim, who owned the farm. Spending time with her aunt during daily chores and learning about berries created a special bond, evoking memories of Brittany's grandparents tending to their garden together. The farm became an idyllic haven for both Brittany and Jason, where they could immerse themselves in farming while cherishing precious moments with their children.
The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic brought about unexpected challenges. Despite the world being put on hold, Brittany and Jason continued to farm alongside Brittany's aunt and uncle. It was during this time that Jason fell in love with the farm and expressed his desire to purchase Keeper Creek Farm, if Kim and Thurman ever decided to sell.
Kim and Thurman Rector had started the farm more than 12 years ago, pouring their hearts and souls into turning their dreams into reality after acquiring the property from another family member. After many years of hard work, they finally decided to retire, leading Brittany and Jason Chester to purchase Keeper Creek Farm in December 2022.
Farming Runs Deep in the Chester Family
The Chester family's connection to farming runs deep, as Brittany was born into the farming lifestyle. She grew up working on her father's dairy farm and initially aspired to pursue a career in dairy farming. However, her father recognized the industry's challenges and urged his family to have backup plans. Brittany became a teacher, using her profession to offset her student loan debt. Although it made it difficult to engage in full-time dairy farming, her passion remained strong.
Jason, having fond memories of gardening with his father and grandfather, followed a similar path and pursued a career in agricultural education, eventually obtaining a degree in horticulture.
Both Brittany and Jason continued to assist Brittany's father with milking cows before heading off to teach school most days, as her father needed their support, and they both found joy in the work.
After the dairy closed its doors, Brittany knew in her heart that she wanted to farm with her husband, following in the footsteps of her grandparents. The pandemic served as a catalyst, giving her the courage to pursue their farming dreams despite the uncertainties. Time with their children, imparting valuable life lessons, and the ability to work together fueled their determination. When Kim and Thurman expressed their desire to retire, Brittany and Jason saw an opportunity to continue the legacy, work the family land, and create a more diversified farm that aligned with their aspirations of farming as a family.
What will you Discover at Farmer’s Daughter at Keeper Creek Farm?
At Farmer’s Daughter at Keeper Creek Farm you’ll discover farmer's choice boxes featuring organically grown vegetables and their own no-spray berries, when they are in season. They also offer homemade jams and jellies, dried lavender bundles from their own plants, and will soon introduce lavender sachets, soaps, and culinary lavender products.
In their 3-5 year plan for the farm, they have exciting agritourism ventures in store.
They will also offer two biblically based farm camps, aiming to expand their educational outreach to individuals of all ages as they continue to enhance their market garden and berry farm capabilities.
What sets Farmer's Daughter at Keeper Creek apart?
They are a multi-generational farm family that has poured their blood, sweat, and tears into making Keeper Creek Farm a place of solace for all visitors. Drawing on their backgrounds as former educators, they understand the desire and need for people of all ages to experience the outdoors and eagerly welcome those seeking to learn and embrace their way of life. They provide education, guidance, and a chance for children to witness the journey of food production, fostering a deep understanding of the effort required to bring food to the table. Brittany's father's role as the first certified organic dairy in North Carolina has instilled in her and her family the importance of organic practices, as it goes beyond being a mere preference for some families and becomes a necessity. With their children also present on the farm, they prioritize their safety and ensure the continuation of the dream shared by generations before them.
Supporting local businesses and buying locally is essential for sustainability and community security. The vulnerabilities exposed by the pandemic within the food chain and commodity systems highlight the importance of investing in local communities. Every dollar spent in the community contributes to rebuilding and reshaping the local area. Farmer's Daughter at Keeper Creek strives to support locals and expresses gratitude to every customer who purchases their produce or visits their u-pick.
The Chester's are not just farmers; they are lifetime farmers driven by their passion to carry on what previous generations started. They embraced farming well before it gained popularity, and their deep passion for it will endure for years to come. They prioritize freshness, organic practices, and sustainable methods to ensure that the land, cherished by their family, continues to thrive by the grace of God. Their passion for education means that everyone, regardless of background, is welcome, and there are no questions too unsafe to ask.
Farmer’s Daughter at Keeper Creek Farm
As a fun fact, Brittany's grandfather surprised her grandmother by naming their dairy farm after her for their anniversary many years ago. Inspired by this gesture, Jason named their produce farm "Farmer's Daughter Organics" after Brittany, the farmer's daughter herself, continuing the tradition of honoring family connections.
Business Hours: Tues-Sat 7am-12pm. Afternoons by appointment only