By Allison Taylor
North River Farms sits just on the outskirts of Pisgah National Forest in Mills River. Established in 1999 by Jason Davis, North River Farms has been an example of stewardship of the land and sustainable agriculture since the beginning. A wonderful partnership was born when Davis teamed up with Eric Sitton to open DB bar D Outfitters in collaboration with North River Farms. Both businesses work together to promote outdoor recreation, natural resource management, wildlife conservation and agriculture in these beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina.
As we roll into 2021, playing outside is an excellent way to continue practicing social distancing. Both North River Farms and DB bar D invite guests to kick off the New Year by joining them outside for a picnic by the river on their farm, hiking, biking, primitive camping or fishing the pristine waters of Mills River.
The mission of DB bar D is “Promote, Preserve and Conserve.” The company offers guided hunting and fishing excursions and all guides enjoy sharing those experiences with guests that are new to the activities—including kids, as the company hopes to educate the younger generation on the importance of sustainability. “It feels good to see a youngster learn to cast his first fly and catch his first fish,” says manager and guide Kyle Vaughan. “They will be hooked for life.” The businesses are proud to support healthy trout waters on their property, which is evidenced by their outstanding hellbender population.
North River Farms has a mission “to produce top quality products from vegetables, livestock, row crops and forage production.” Davis encourages visitors to come experience the farm life and learn about where their food comes from. Groups such as schools, churches, social groups and clubs are an especially good fit for touring and learning experiences. “It’s rewarding to know that, through our programming and efforts, people will leave our farm with a better understanding of agriculture and how their food gets on their plate,” says Davis.
The farm continually implements best management practices to support the environment and remain sustainable in order to pass the land on to the next generation. Davis has three school-age sons who are not only valuable and hard-working assets to the farming operations but who also have such a passion for being involved in the farm’s operations. Davis hopes that they’ll continue to have in interest in farming as they grow up, and that they will carry on the tradition of doing so in a way that protects our natural resources.
Now is a great time to contact DB bar D for a guided fishing or hunting trip, or to visit North River Farms for a picnic or tour. Get outside in this coming year, get your boots dirty, take in the sights and smells of nature, and most of all, enjoy the outdoors!