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Black farmer to open new farmers market in Montgomery County

Charles Lucas works his farm in Montgomery County Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Jackson Springs, N.C.
Lynn Hey
/
For WUNC
Charles Lucas works his farm in Montgomery County Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Jackson Springs, N.C.

In October 2020, Charles Lucas of Lucas Farm made a proclamation on the weathered brick steps where his house once stood. He said he would use the space to build a farmer's market.

Now, he's set to open Lucas Farmers Market on Saturday, July 23.

"This market is going to help this community. It's going to help Montgomery County," he said. "It really ain't about me. It's about trying to have a place where people can come and fellowship, and other farmers can come sell produce here too."

Charles Lucas picks a pecan from his grove of trees planted six years ago in cooperation with NC A&T State University on his farm in Montgomery County Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Jackson Springs, N.C.
Lynn Hey
/
For WUNC
Charles Lucas picks a pecan from a grove of trees on his farm in Montgomery County on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Jackson Springs, N.C.

Lucas is a Vietnam veteran who was drafted into the Vietnam War in 1969. After serving for a little over a year he returned to High Point and worked several jobs before buying his farm in 1975.

He says he's the only Black farmer in Montgomery County, just south of Greensboro. He has dealt with racial discrimination from white farmers throughout the years and even considered giving up everything before attending a workshop in 2008 about sustainable crops. He said that reignited his love for farming and he's been farming ever since.

Lucas suffered a heart attack during the pandemic and had to have a stent inserted in his heart. Once he was strong enough, he set out to work on Lucas Farmers Market.

"I went right to work on it," he said. "Everything passed building inspections with flying colors."

Charles Lucas rest on a 1940's tractor inside a greenhouse on his farm in Montgomery County Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Jackson Springs, N.C.
Lynn Hey
/
For WUNC
Charles Lucas rests on a 1940's tractor inside a greenhouse on his farm in Montgomery County Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Jackson Springs, N.C.

Lucas says he'd like to eventually hold workshops or family gatherings at his farmers market, but for now, he'll start off slow by having the market on Saturdays.

"I want to go the rest of my life doing good and trying to better mankind and this community and try to help uplift Black people, white people, Hispanic people, Africans, Native Americans, everybody," he said. "It's not about your Democrat or Republican. It's about healthy eating."

Lucas Farm is located at 239 Windblow Road, Jackson Springs, N.C. in Montgomery County.

Naomi Prioleau joined WUNC in January 2017.
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