Staff photo by Allison Potter
Sara Lanier of Piney Woods Farm fills her display at the Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market on Monday, July 29.
Piney Woods Farm in Burgaw, N.C., is owned and operated by Buron Lanier and his wife Sara. A family-run farm, Piney Woods produces apples and peaches in season (August for apples and June through August for peaches), as well as chicken, eggs and beef year round. Buron and Sara’s three children, Lauren, Haley and Amos, are all actively involved in the family business.
Piney Woods Farm started growing peaches in 2006. At that time, the farm only had a few peach trees on its land.
“We started with a couple of trees in the backyard and we really enjoyed them,” Sara Lanier said. “They’re a lot of work and we decided we could take care of a couple as good as we could take care of a couple hundred.”
Since that time, the Laniers have been selling their produce at the Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market as well as the markets at Poplar Grove and Jacksonville.
Like many of the vendors at the Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market, Piney Woods Farm is completely family owned and operated. That aspect has its pros and cons.
“You can never leave work,” Lanier laughed. “It’s right out your back door... there’s no commute.”
Lanier, who has a degree in accounting from North Carolina State University, also handles many of the other tasks that come with running a family business. She has observed that the cost of fuel has played a significant role at Piney Woods Farm in recent years. While consumers continue to pay the asking price for gas, people do not seem to value their food the same way.
“We have not adjusted our prices on produce since the beginning, we’ve just absorbed the fuel cost.” Lanier said.
Outside of farmers’ markets, the Laniers sell their produce wholesale, as well as through Feast Down East. Feast Down East, also known as the Southeastern North Carolina Food Systems Program, is a nonprofit economic development program that aims to alleviate poverty in rural communities by networking small-scale farmers and their local markets. Through Feast Down East, Piney Woods Farm sells its products to restaurants and grocers, as well as school systems. Piney Woods peaches are also available every day at Lanier Hardware and Rental in Burgaw, which is run by the Laniers’ oldest daughter, Lauren, and her husband Ben Head.
For more information on Piney Woods Farm and the Laniers, visit www.pineywoodsfarmnc.webs.com