By MADOLINE MARKHAM
In a valley lies a farm. On its land lives a farmer. From its ground comes sustenance to feed the people who live around it.
This is what you find on Highway 41 near Mt Laurel, but it’s not common outside most urban and suburban landscapes in Alabama, according to Nick Pihakis, the mastermind behind the restaurant empire of Jim ‘N Nick’s.
This year Pihakis is funding the 25-acre Mt Laurel farm, which is owned by Ebsco, to use as a model for small farmers to sell goods to restaurants like his. Ultimately, he hopes this experimental three-acre farm model (only about three acres on the Mt Laurel property are farmed) will help rebuild the agriculture structure in the South so that farmers are guaranteed a buyer for their goods.
“It’s a good deal on both sides,” said Pihakis, a Mt Laurel resident. Continue reading