Learn about one man’s mission to support local farms — and how you can help

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Who: Zack Wyatt grew up on an old dairy farm in northern Virginia. He cares a lot about what food goes into his body and the bodies of his five kids. He has an unrivaled passion for farming and food, and last year, he turned that passion into a mission by creating Carolina Farm Trust, which aims to support local and regional farmers in any way it can, like buying equipment or land.

We talked to Wyatt about local farms, the Farm Trust and the upcoming music festival that supports it on this week’s episode of The CharlotteFive Podcast. (We also discussed whether South End is losing its identity with the closing of Common Market.)

What: Carolina Jubilee is currently Carolina Farm Trust’s signature event, a two-day music festival in Harmony, N.C., (a small town in Iredell County about 1 1/2 hours north of Charlotte). The second-annual event this fall features more than 20 bands, including Susto, Tacoma Narrows and Sinners & Saints. But it’s more than just a music festival to Wyatt — it’s a chance to get people to experience a local farm (it’s held on VanHoy Farms) and showcase an array of local vendors that benefit from local farms. It will have beer, wine and cocktails from Carolina-based companies and food from Clark Barlowe, chef at the farm-to-table Charlotte restaurant Heirloom.

Money raised from this year’s Jubilee will be used in part to buy a pasteurization system for Mary L Farm, which you may recognize from Atherton Market and the NoDa Farmer’s Market. This would allow them to sell milk directly to customers — “a really big deal,” Wyatt said.

Carolina Jubilee is Sept. 30-Oct. 1. Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased here.

He said it: “The thing about agriculture … is it touches everything. Food touches everything. We don’t feel like it does. … Food is the most intimate thing we do every single day … but we don’t treat it that way.”

The CharlotteFive Podcast — presented by The Charlotte Observer and powered by OrthoCarolina — is a weekly podcast that aims to get you CharlotteSmart, fast with fun, interesting and useful news about the city. It’s hosted by Corey Inscoe and Sarah Crosland.

You can find The CharlotteFive Podcast on SoundcloudiTunes and StitcherYou can follow us on Twitter @Charlotte_Five, on Instagram @cltfive, and on Facebook, and you can shoot us an email to charlottefive@charlottefive.com.

Photo: Richard Brooke

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