Davon is only 27 years old, but he has learned a lot in his life. Growing up in Pennsylvania, he was a wrestler. He learned about discipline and about competition. Then he enrolled at UNC- Pembroke. His goal – to be a research scientist. He did well in his classes and as he says, “I was a typical college kid. I had fun. I thought about myself – what I wanted to be; what I wanted to have.” Then he made a decision that would change his life forever.
He decided to take a break for college and do a tour in the army. He was young, strong, smart, and willing to risk his life for his country. While serving in Afghanistan he did just that. Out on patrol, a bomb exploded under the armored vehicle Davon was in. His life would never be the same.
Davon says, “Everything changed that day. When I woke up in the hospital, I realized I had a second chance at life, and I had to figure out how to make my life count for something. “
Battling continuing memory issues and bouts of narcolepsy, Davon finished college and set out to find a way to give back.
It wasn’t easy, but Davon refused to give up. Then he met the Griffin family. Dr. Neil Griffin had “Fussy Gourmet”, a 500-acre farm that needed a manager. Davon Goodwin needed a chance. It was a match made in heaven.
Today, Davon farms the 500 areas almost single-handedly. He manages a vineyard with grapes for eating, juice, and wine. He raises goats, hogs, and chickens, lots of hay, and he experiments with other crops. All the while, he thinks about the people in Hoke County where the farm is located. Davon says, “One in four kids in this county wonder where their next meal is coming from. There are backpack programs, and that helps, but what kind of food is in those backpacks. Everybody deserves to have the choice of fresh, healthy food. So I think about what I grow. I want the people in my county to be able to afford it. “
Davon wants his neighbors to have fresh, healthy food, and you know that beginning farmers, like Davon, have to make a living. They also need someone to share advice.
Enter Farmer Foodshare. Farmer Foodshare connects people who grow food with people who need food. Farmer Foodshare has three main programs:
- Donation Stations at Farmers Markets, where farmers donate fresh food and shoppers donate cash to buy food from the farmers to be shared with neighbors in need.
- Food Ambassadors, who share demonstrations on easy and economical ways to store and prepare fresh produce.
- The POP Market (Pennies on the Pound) a wholesale market that connects small to mid-scale farmers with groups or organizations that want healthy, local food, but have limited budgets.
There wasn’t a Farmers Market near the farm, but Davon was a perfect candidate for Farmer Foodshare’s POP Market. Through the POP Market, Farmer Foodshare shares information about average pricing, packaging, transport, and need, and then serves as the connection between farmers and groups or organizations serving people with limited access to fresh, local food. This is just the population that Davon wants to help, and using POP Market, Davon receives a fair price for his goods. That means he can support his family and continue to grow healthy food for his community. Our POP Market is one of Davon’s favorite customers. It’s another match made in heaven.