On a mission to change the world, Jamie DeMent ’01 starts with fifty-five acres of NC farm country Mon, April 25, 2011

by Eric Johnson & Kelly Almond

In 2004, after meeting entrepreneur and investor Richard Holcomb at the downtown Raleigh restaurant Zely & Ritz, Jamie DeMent ’01 made a rather drastic life decision.

She stepped off a Capitol Hill career track to help run Holcomb’s newly purchased farm on the outskirts of Hillsborough.

“We moved from 6,000 square feet inside the Beltline in Raleigh to this,” DeMent says, standing on the porch of the couple’s 1880 farmhouse. “It’s a very different life.”

Different, yes. But arguably just as frenetic as the lives each of them left behind.

The fifty-five-acre Coon Rock Farm is not your average agricultural venture. DeMent and Holcomb have become darlings of the burgeoning local food movement, providing meat and produce to a number of high-end restaurants, dispatching a cornucopia of seasonal goodies to five different farmers’ markets each Saturday, and delivering boxes of fresh produce to hundreds… read more


Why you should care about the Food Safety Modernization Act Wed, January 12, 2011

The new food safety law, small farms and you

by Lisa Sorg

A snow squall swirled overhead as farmer Richard Holcomb surveyed a crop of greens and pinched off a piece of purple kale. Without checking it for dirt, I rolled the leaf and ate it. Seconds from being picked, it tasted crisp and sweet.

At Coon Rock Farm near Hillsborough, heads of purple cabbage bedazzled the red clay rows while radish, beet and turnip tops shivered, their offspring biding their time underground. Within the next three days, workers would harvest about 5,000 heads of cabbage, plus hundreds of pounds of other leafy greens and root vegetables that would be sold to consumers via farmers markets, cooperatives and the Piedmont restaurant in Durham and Zely & Ritz in Raleigh, which Holcomb and his partner, Jamie DeMent, co-own.

North Carolina’s farmers have been not only planting and harvesting, but also watching… read more


Coon Rock Farm featured in The New York Times Wed, April 21, 2010

Fresh Direction: A Farm-to-Table Restaurant

by Christine Muhlke

On a March morning at Coon Rock Farm — 55 acres of just about everything you can grow and raise — in Hillsborough, N.C., Jamie DeMent is showing me a fallen tree that’s being milled into tabletops for the farm’s biggest project to date: Eno Restaurant and Market.

Who knew the farm-to-table loop would become so compressed or so literal? But it was only a matter of time before the farmers’ market evolved into the farmers’ restaurant.

Read full article on


Sweet Baby Corn Mon, July 7, 2008

The summer goodness just keeps coming, Our first sweet summer corn is in!! It’s fabulous and juicy and so good that I ate an entire ear raw standing right in the field.

So, babies, fire up the grill and throw those ears on when the fire gets nice and hot — don’t even bother taking off the shucks. Have the butter and salt ready when they come off the grill and you are ready to roll! Yum!


My favorite day. . . Wed, July 2, 2008

I live in superlatives. I have at least a hundred favorite songs and probably 30 favorite movies so, sometimes when I say that something is “my very favorite,” people take it with a grain of salt. But, this time, I really mean it.

I am a child of summer — I love the warm weather and long days. I adore the bounty that the summer garden provides. And, I especially love sweet summer peas. As far back as I can remember, the first peas of summer were reason to celebrate. Every member of my family loves peas — six week peas, crowder peas, pink-eye-purple-hulls, rice peas. . . the list goes on.

So, today is my favorite day this year. The Coon Rock family has produced it’s first batch of peas for the summer. Ours are pink-eye-purple-hulls and they are beautiful. I am going to sit down this afternoon and… read more

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