melons of Harmony Ridge

People of Winston: Isaac Oliver

by Alison Shermeta
Get to know Isaac Oliver, a farmer who loves to feed the community with good food.
Isaac Oliver

For many of us, the beginning of the pandemic was a time of withdrawal and isolation as we received news of the stay at home order and distanced ourselves socially. But during this same time, Isaac Oliver’s roots in the community grew wider and stronger. His farm, Harmony Ridge, had relied heavily on its relationships with the restaurants that were now struggling, and found its business drop to almost nothing the week the pandemic hit. “We panicked. But we pivoted right away and decided we needed to offer up home delivery service for families.” Isaac and his team changed their model and personally delivered high-quality produce and meat to the doorsteps of customers in the community, offering an alternative to going out to stores. 

Isaac had spent the past twelve years growing this farm he and his father started together from scratch. “I definitely felt like I had a feel for growing things and had a green thumb, but it was kind of a plunge; we just jumped right in.” Right away, they took their produce to the farmers market and created a CSA (community-supported agriculture, a regular delivery of his farm’s goods to customers in the community), and the response was overwhelming. 

Today, Isaac’s farm produces vegetables, melon, blueberries, eggs, pork, and duck on 3 properties, grown sustainably, without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides, and partners with other farms to expand their offerings. Isaac would say he’s growing really good food the way it should be grown.​

And even though his food meets you where you are, as is expected of commodities in 2021, Harmony Ridge is a small business owned by a community member who is feeding other community members–a timeless endeavor with a contemporary twist.

August 11, 2021