McAdams Farm History
McAdams Farm was established in 1885 when the first McAdams moved to this land from northern Alamance county. The farm began raising tobacco for cash money and crops and vegetables to feed the livestock and the family. Corn, wheat, cows, hogs, and a vegetable garden were all grown for use on the farm. The family made their living by hard work and depending on relatives and neighbors.
Growing and Changing
Over the years, the farm's main products became beef cattle and tobacco. In the year 2000, due to changes in the economic climate of farming, the tobacco was replaced with strawberries, produce, and cut flowers.
This transition was not an easy one. It required a leap of faith to venture into a new and very different way of farming. Three new ponds have been dug on the property to provide water for irrigation, a greenhouse was installed to grow vegetable seedlings, and new equipment has been purchased to facilitate planting and harvesting of the various crops.
Who We Are Now
With a rich tradition of farming, the fourth and fifth generations to work the land are still going strong in Efland, North Carolina. Howard Jr. occupies his time with the strawberries and fresh vegetables, preparing the land and tending to these crops. His wife Karen is a retired agricultural extension agent for Orange County, who now helps on the farm with the beef cattle and vegetables. Daughters Callie and Elizabeth both labor on the farm when they are not in school, carrying on the legacy of farming that is over 125 years strong.
McAdams Farm continues to raise cattle and now grows fresh produce which is sold both here at the Farm and at the Carrboro and Southern Village Farmers' Markets. We are constantly trying new varieties in search of the most flavorful vegetables and longest lasting cut flowers so that we can offer the highest quality product to our customers. We are dedicated to excellence in the taste and reliability of our wide selection of vegetables and to the color and beauty of our flowers. We intend to continue farming for many years to come.
In Memory of Howard McAdams Sr.
September 19th, 1923 - October 1, 2010
Howard McAdams Sr, or as he was more frequently called, Pa, lived and worked on McAdams Farm from the time he was born here on September 19th, 1923. He saw all kinds of changes in the way our farming operation works, but he maintained his resilience and dedication to the farm throughout that time. When he was growing up through the Great Depression and plowing the fields walking behind a mule, he had no idea of the twists and turns that were ahead of him. The family grew several crops to feed themselves and their cows, chickens, and hogs. This included vegetables along with row crops such as corn, wheat, and so on. Pa left the farm for a few years during World War II to serve in the Navy SeaBees, where he was stationed at Pearl Harbor following the initial attack there.
He later returned home to the farm and worked here all of his adult life. He raised a family of five children along with his wife, Dot and was a lifelong member of Efland Presbyterian Church. Over the years, the focus of the farm's production eventually shifted towards tobacco and beef cattle. Howard McAdams Jr. returned to the farm in the early 1980's and worked together with his father for many years. In 1987, over 40 acres of tobacco were produced. However, the declining amounts of tobacco quota and some increasing costs prompted a switch to vegetables, cut flowers, and pick-your-own strawberries. The learning curve has been steep, but we pride ourselves on producing a high quality product with lots of emphasis on customer service.
Pa worked hard on the farm well into his 80's. He will be greatly missed.