ASHEBORO, N.C. — Throughout the pandemic, some of us have rethought our career paths, and some us have already changed paths.
Nate Butler has been a teacher in North Carolina for 16 years.
He started in Durham public schools, tried private school teaching for a few years, made a stop in Alamance County, then found his current home at North Carolina Cyber Academy, one of two virtual schools in the state.
Education is in his blood, but so is farming.
His mother was a farmer in Roxboro, and his grandfather was a tobacco farmer. He and his wife have been farming on the side for years.
“When we first got married we talked about having a farm eventually and a place where we could do our art,” Butler said. “Just the idea of being self-sufficient more than anything else.”
When he and his wife moved to Asheboro three years ago, they started building their dream farm with a garden and chickens.
Their goal is to have Community Supported Agriculture, where people in the community can purchase a membership and get fresh produce and other products on a regular basis.
“The idea that whatever else I have, I could hand to someone else,” Butler said. “That’s not necessarily just food, that’s the knowledge of doing all of this. This is really a teaching point for me.”
He and his wife gave away part of their yield this past year when they noticed their neighbors were in need of supplies during the pandemic.
The pandemic accelerated their timeline, and they’re at a point now where they need assistance from the community.
They’re working to secure funds for livestock and other projects through the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, but they’re hoping others will match those funds through GoFundMe.
“We go to bed sore. We go to bed exhausted, but we sleep through the night, and then the passion is, the drive is to get up and do this again,” Butler said.
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