• Welcome
  • Our Products
  • Employment
  • Events
  • References
Against the Grain is a small-scale diversified farm located 15minutes from downtown Boone in Zionville, NC. The farm is situated on a 35-acres and raises a broad spectrum of certified Biodynamic and Organic vegetables on a little under 2 acres, as well as Animal Welfare Approved, GMO-free, pastured chicken, turkey, pork, beef and goat. We focus on four main market channels, including a weekly farmer's markets, a 20 week/95-member vegetable CSA, several area restaurants and a local food hub.

The 2021 season will be our tenth year in crop production and eight year in animal production at our current farm place. We are continuing to refine our crop rotation, cover crop management, harvesting and composting techniques. Our focus at Against the Grain is to nurture the soil in order to grow high quality, nutritious food for our local community.

At ATG, we believe that agriculture is a spiritual practice tending toward health in mind, body and spirit. Attention, mindfulness, and living in the reality of the present moment allows us to encourage care for our land, our community and one another. We also believe in the power of diversity in all living systems. As we strive for more equity and inclusion in agriculture, we especially encourage applications from BIPOC and LGBTQ individuals.

All members of the farm crew work at large on all aspects of vegetable production and harvest. In addition, each crew member is also a member of one or more teams, which address special areas of focus on the farm. These teams include production, harvest, Biodynamic/compost, livestock, greenhouse and community.

You can find our products at the Watauga Co. Farmer’s Market, the Boone’s Winter Farmer's Market in our Veggie CSA, in our Meat CSA, distributed by New Appalachia Foods, as part of the the High Country Food Hub and in select High Country area restaurants.

Appalachian Grown smalldemeterUSDA Organicsmall
veggiesbuttonmeatbuttonvalueaddedbuttonagritourismbutton

  • We raise beef, pork, goat, turkey and chicken.
  • We grow a small amount of sorghum for molasses.
  • You can find our products at the Watauga Co. Farmer’s Market, the Boone’s Winter Farmer's Market in our Veggie CSA, as part of the the multi-farm High Country Food Hub (an online weekly farmers market) and in select High Country area restaurants.

    About purchasing from Against the Grain...

    Great experience, great food, great people!”

    - Freda, customer

    “Our family has had a great experience with Andy & Holly. We are new to the area and they were a few of the first kind folks we met back in March at the Winter farmer's market in Boone. We took part in the Veggie CSA and the Meat CSA this season. Both have been fantastic, high quality, with great fresh flavor. We were invited to the farm for a fall harvest dinner as well for a chance to learn about the farm, how our food was being grown, and to share that with the people growing it. It also gave us an opportunity to get to know the other customers of the farm as well. We also had the opportunity to meet the kind folks working for Against the Grain which was a treat as well. Everyone seemed to be hard working and finding true joy in what they do. You’re in good hands here!”

    - Jason, customer

    Our work schedule…

    For the sake of this description, “apprentices” will refer to full time farm crew members who live and work on the farm for a whole growing season, and “interns” will refer to part time farm crew members who live in town and commute out to the farm.

    For the 2021 season, we are able to provide housing for five full time apprentices. In addition to the five apprentices, we also have two co-farmers, Holly and Andy, as well as farm manager, Ben and the farm’s Biodynamic Mentor, M. Additionally, as housing and accommodations allow, the farm also hosts wwoofers from time to time. And finally, the farm typically engages two or three part time interns for the season.

    Apprenticeships/Internships generally involve learning by doing. In the process of doing the work of the farm, crew members will have the opportunity to gain experience in planting techniques, soil fertility, weed control, pest management, irrigation, harvesting, marketing, equipment use/maintenance, record keeping, Biodynamic preparations and livestock management. Some tasks may seem redundant or monotonous, so it’s very important for interns to be able to maintain a positive attitude. We work in all types of weather conditions, so come prepared with a variety of appropriate attire. A list of recommended items to bring to the farm will be provided once a season commitment has been made.

    We always try to give instructions as we go and try to explain “how” and “why” along the way. We plan to have regular evening discussion/films on topics including soil fertility, Biodynamics, community dynamics and just plain fun. We also have a small farm library, to which apprentices and interns will have full access. We are not specifically a teaching farm, but we will do our best to convey as much of our knowledge as we can reasonably, while we work. There is a CRAFT network, hosted by Blue Ridge Women in Ag, which hosts field days on farms in our area, and we strongly encourage interns to attend.

    It is important to understand that apprentices will be working side-by-side with the farmers a lot of the time, especially in the beginning of the season. But as the season progresses, the farmers have tasks around the farm that are their responsibility alone. This leaves some of the time when the crew works independently. First year apprentices must be able to take direction and guidance from returning apprentices.

    In order to share knowledge and responsibilities among all apprentices and interns, as well as to allow apprentices to dive deeper into areas of interest, we organize our farm crew into teams. Team members work together and observe, discuss, advocate for their area of interest, and then implement work which enhances it. Full team descriptions are available upon request, but include production, harvest, Biodynamic/compost, livestock, greenhouse, market and community teams. All crew members will continue to learn about all of the aspects of the farm, but we’ve observed that having areas of focus empowers apprentices to become adept and skilled in one area of farm work.

    We are somewhat flexible with start and end times, but typically, our season gets busy around the mid/end of February and comes to a close by the end of November.

    Compensation offered...

    Compensation for full time apprentices also includes housing, produce and meat from the farm (meat value TBD). We offer a 2-week, unpaid trial period, during which both apprentices and farmers can evaluate if an arrangement for the season is mutually beneficial. If the farmers and prospective apprentices agree to continue the relationship, the start date for their first month will be retroactive to their first day on the farm. After two months, a $25/month raise can be expected. Compensation also includes eggs, meat and unlimited produce. The housing includes an off the grid “sleep shack” (equipped with a bed, dresser and desk), a common kitchen with running water, washer and dryer and stove, and a four-season shower.

    Our farm is an active member in the CRAFT network.

    Our location...

    We are located 15 minutes from downtown Boone, NC, which is a vibrant college town of 18,000 people. There are 3 breweries, multiple restaurants and coffee shops in town. The "High Country" is known for its rock climbing and hiking culture, so there are many opportunities for those who are interested.

    What we’re looking for...

    Mostly, we are interested in hiring and mentoring people who are truly interested in farming. A positive attitude, experience working in teams and an inquisitive mind is a must. Previous farming experience is a plus, but not required. Bringing your own vehicle to the farm is encouraged but not required.

    It is essential for prospective interns to understand that farm work is very physical. We do our best to vary the tasks throughout the day, in order to prevent too much time being spent on one job; however, farm work is often repetitive by nature and very physically demanding. It is important to be realistic and honest about your past work experience and physical stamina.

    To inquire about employment opportunities, please contact us by email between December and February or visit our website for further information.

    About working for Against the Grain...

    “This was a very immersive experience, I learned a tremendous amount, and was brought into the farm community in many ways through my time at Against the Grain. After my apprenticeship, I felt ready to farm for myself, and felt like I had the skills and experience to do so.

    - Derek, owner of Fruitful Homesteads

    We participate in the High Country Farm Tour every year and are members in the Blue Ridge CRAFT program. We have a cob pizza oven and host several pizza parties for customers and CSA members throughout the season.

    Find out about our current offerings on our farm’s Facebook page.

    About participating in the Against the Grain community...

    “Our family has had a great experience with Andy & Holly … We were invited to the farm for a fall harvest dinner as well for a chance to learn about the farm, how our food was being grown, and to share that with the people growing it. It also gave us an opportunity to get to know the other customers of the farm as well. We also had the opportunity to meet the kind folks working for Against the Grain which was a treat as well. Everyone seemed to be hard working and finding true joy in what they do. You’re in good hands here!”

    - Jason, customer

    About purchasing from Against the Grain...

    Great experience, great food, great people!”

    - Freda, customer

    “Our family has had a great experience with Andy & Holly. We are new to the area and they were a few of the first kind folks we met back in March at the Winter farmer's market in Boone. We took part in the Veggie CSA and the Meat CSA this season. Both have been fantastic, high quality, with great fresh flavor. We were invited to the farm for a fall harvest dinner as well for a chance to learn about the farm, how our food was being grown, and to share that with the people growing it. It also gave us an opportunity to get to know the other customers of the farm as well. We also had the opportunity to meet the kind folks working for Against the Grain which was a treat as well. Everyone seemed to be hard working and finding true joy in what they do. You’re in good hands here!”

    - Jason, customer

    About working for Against the Grain...

    “This was a very immersive experience, I learned a tremendous amount, and was brought into the farm community in many ways through my time at Against the Grain. After my apprenticeship, I felt ready to farm for myself, and felt like I had the skills and experience to do so.

    - Derek, owner of Fruitful Homesteads


    BACK TO ALL FARMS