Making a living as a farmer is tough anywhere, but it’s particularly true in the North Carolina mountains. Western North Carolina lost 18 percent of its farms — more than 2,800 — in the 15 years between 1997 and 2012. And the majority of existing WNC farmers today are nearing retirement age — many of them without heirs who plan to keep the farm going.
Greasy beans are a southern Appalachian specialty, little or unknown outside this area. According to Sow True Seed founder and owner Carol Koury, greasy beans have been grown in these mountains probably for as long as there have been whites in Appalachia.