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Blooming partners: Conetoe and Cape Hatteras

I was there when students from Cape Hatteras Secondary School traveled for the first time to Conetoe to kick off a food access partnership. About a year has passed, and the two communities are still meeting regularly to talk about sustainable food, poverty, and growing a future for their kids. 

(Photo Credit/Alex Granados)
Rev. Richard Joyner, right, speaks at the most recent meeting between students in Conetoe and Cape Hatteras (Photo Credit/Alex Granados)

Monday, students from Cape Hatteras led by Evan Ferguson — a teacher at Cape Hatteras Secondary — traveled back to Conetoe to celebrate the true spirit of Thanksgiving. 

“Just like the first settlers, we’re here to exchange fish for locally grown vegetables,” she said. 

Both Conetoe and Cape Hatteras are short on local, affordable, healthy food, Ferguson said. 

(Photo Credit/Alex Granados)
(Photo Credit/Alex Granados)

The meeting took place at the Conetoe Family Life Center. Rev. Richard Joyner is the man leading the sustainable agriculture mission at the Center, and he’s been celebrated both by the News & Observer and CNN

Joyner and the Conetoe Family Life Center started a full-fledged farm to teach the children of the town and its surrounds how to grow food and be self-sustaining, and they use their produce to help feed the community. 

(Photo Credit/Alex Granados)
(Photo Credit/Alex Granados)

Monday, Joyner talked about the need to move the project to the next level. He wanted to figure out how the two communities can get produce and fish into local markets — schools, hospitals, restaurants. 

“We need a real sustainable way…how do we take the resources that are presently here… how do we take them and reinvest back into our communities?” he asked.

(Photo Credit/Alex Granados)
(Photo Credit/Alex Granados)

As the partnership continues, the hope is that leaders from the two communities can find solutions for sustainable eating and growing.

Embedded throughout this article are photos from the most recent visit.

Evan Ferguson, left, and Richard Joyner, right, ride on the bus to visit one of the the Conetoe Family Life Center farms. (Photo Credit/Alex Granados)
Evan Ferguson, left, and Richard Joyner, right, ride on the bus to visit a Conetoe Family Life Center farm. (Photo Credit/Alex Granados)

Learn more about the partnership:

Watch a short documentary here.

Read an article on the partnership here.

Read a column by EducationNC CEO Mebane Rash on the origins of the partnership here.

Bus beehive at farm (Photo Credit/Alex Granados)
Bus beehive at farm (Photo Credit/Alex Granados)
Beehive at farm (Photo Credit/Alex Granados)
Bus beehive at farm (Photo Credit/Alex Granados)
(Photo Credit/Alex Granados)
(Photo Credit/Alex Granados)
(Photo Credit/Alex Granados)
(Photo Credit/Alex Granados)
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(Photo Credit/Alex Granados)
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(Photo Credit/Alex Granados)
(Photo Credit/Courtesy of Evan Ferguson)
(Photo Credit/Courtesy of Evan Ferguson)
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(Photo Credit/Courtesy of Evan Ferguson)

Alex Granados

Alex Granados is senior reporter for EducationNC.