We are Kyle and Katelyn Stenersen; we started our family farm in 2013 in Scotts Hill, NC. Neither of us grew up on a farm or had any interest in becoming farmers. We both attended North Carolina State University; Katelyn studied Spanish and Literature, and Kyle studied Horticulture - where he discovered a love for plants. We got married our senior year of college and after graduation we were at a loss for what to do. Katelyn wanted to move overseas to teach ESL or do mission work, and Kyle wanted to stay in Raleigh where we’d find some sort of job. Around that time friends of ours, who own a small organic farm in Burlington, NC, contacted us about needing a full-time farmhand (complete with a cute farm house for rent on the farm). We both saw it as an exciting opportunity and after praying about it, we had an overwhelming peace and decided to go for it!
After two years of working and learning (so much) at Sunset Farms, we had a tug to come back to our coastal roots, to begin our own farm and provide legit, quality food for the people of southeastern NC. With our 10 month old daughter in tow, we moved back to Wilmington in the fall of 2012. We were thrilled to be back on the coast and near all four of our daughter’s grandparents! Kyle worked a full time job with a landscaping company to provide for our family while we talked and prayed and dreamed about somehow starting a farm. We weren’t completely sure if farming was to be a hobby or a career and lifestyle for us. However after Kyle went to a SSAWG (southern sustainable agriculture working group) conference in January of 2013 we felt assurance and guidance from the Lord to move forward with starting a farm and pursuing sustainable farming as a career.
We began with a 15 person CSA that summer, built a greenhouse, and started planting seeds before we even had land to farm. It was definitely a leap of faith. We prayed and asked God to lead us and provide land for us along with a lot of other needs (including a tractor). We looked at land to buy, then decided to try to lease land instead.
There was one piece of land Kyle had dreamed about farming since we lived in Burlington, NC. It was the land he played on as a boy growing up in Scotts Hill. We didn’t own the land or know who did but we wrote a letter and sent it out, unsure if it would be received into the right hands or if they would be open to the idea. A few days later we heard back from the land owners only to find out that they had been hoping to find someone to farm their land for quite some time! We were blown away, amazed, and so very grateful! Oh, and it turned out they had a tractor we could use as well! It grew our faith to experience God’s beautiful provision and guidance through each step of the process. And this is how Humble Roots Farm began.