Learning to Grow from the Ground Up: Lynn Alker, IFFS Incubator Farmer

Check out one way we’re insuring a food secure and hunger-free future for our community by mentoring the next local, sustainable farmers through out Incubator Farm Program!

Lynn Alker first starting volunteering on the IFFS Teaching Farm this past winter. This spring, she starting working at the IFFS Farm Stand, which she still does on Fridays. Now, she’s part of the IFFS Incubator Famer Program and has her own plot on the farm.

Lynn has always had an interest in clean food and grew a smaller garden at home for many years. When her house recently became an empty nest, she decided she wanted to get back into gardening and learn how to grow –literally- from the ground up.

On her plot, she’s testing things out this year to see what grows the best – squash, pumpkins, eggplant, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, okra, tomatoes, various beans, flowers and herbs.

Eventually, she hopes to market what she grows – maybe even to a local chef. At our farm stand on Tryon road this fall, she sold herb bunches (sage/basil/rosemary/parsley), petite eggplant, Malabar spinach, sunflowers, edible nasturtium flowers, peppermint sprigs, and lemongrass.

For now, she’s enjoying learning the science of farming and gardening, and learning from Farm Managers Kay and Sun as well as the other Incubator Farmers.

But the benefits of being on the farm to Lynn extend beyond monetary value for what she grows.  She brings her grandson out to the Teaching Farm to teach him about where food comes from, environmental stewardship, and the amount of work involved in farming.

The IFFS Incubator Farm Program supports and grows new viable, independent farm businesses and aims to serve as a model new-farmer program.

You can help support the our agricultural training programs by donating today, or help sustain them year-round by becoming a monthly Ground-Level Giver! Or want to get your hands in the dirt, connect to where your food comes from, and help grow wholesome produce? Volunteer on our Teaching Farm!