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Produce Stand

The DeMilia Research Farm in Zebulon, NC (just outside of Bunn in Franklin County, NC) serves as a center for our agricultural research. Unlike any other farm, even other agricultural research farms, the primary purpose of crop production is for plant pest model data collection and experimentation, not saleable produce or typical experimental research plots. The sale of produce is a secondary purpose to supplement funding for research efforts. Harvested produce from our agricultural research plots will not be sold online and can only be purchased by visiting us. Produce is only available immediately after we have harvested an experimental trial such that our hours of operations is limited to specific dates and times. Nevertheless, we will attempt to give some advance notice by posting upcoming harvest dates to the best of our ability. No fresh produce mark-ups, we strive to keep our prices at or below those at local supermarkets. No worries about exactly what you are eating. No need to decipher cryptic label codes. All of our produce is sorted according to the experimental treatment and you can read for yourself the application schedule details of every pesticide (synthetic or organic), fertilizer, chemical, or other treatment applied to it. Please note that our produce, even from the organic experimental treatments, are not "Certified Organic". This is because we usually use synthetic fertilizers, the same field plot location may have had a synthetic pesticide applied in previous years or crop rotations, and, in certain circumstances, it may be necessary that non-organic farming practices be used for the experimental testing of a specific organic treatment to ensure a fair comparison with a synthetic pesticide. As a general practice, though, non-treatment synthetic pesticide usage will be avoided as much as possible. Want to help? We are looking for volunteers. Whether or not you live in NC, you can still sponsor a research plot and have your name put on the treatment stake or just make a donation. If you live in the Triangle Area, you can do a harvest sponsorship which is a sponsorship with a deposit for purchasing the produce harvested from an experimental plot.

What's growing?

After more than a year of preparation, 2014 was our first full growing season and we only tested untreated controls. For the 2015 growing season, we focused on crop production techniques and only a few pesticide applications were made. For the 2016 growing season, procedures and practices are being developed for use in future plant disease studies including the evaluation of synthetic vs. organic insecticide treatments. Our goal is to use the least toxic treatment for insect control as possible to obtain acceptable levels of crop damage. In contrast to experiments in future years, treatment regiments have not been pre-defined and are being determined on an as needed basis. Some crops may not require any insecticide treatment at all. We are also trying to establish when we really need to use herbicides versus when weeds can be controlled entirely by cultural practices and cultivation. In 2017, we will be continuing these efforts and collecting data on the natural levels of plant diseases on the farm for the purpose of establishing future experimental protocols. In 2018, we will begin evaluating fungicides and organic plant disease treatments.

DeMilia Research LLC has one of the most diverse small scale polyculture farming operations in the country. We are growing a single row of more than a hundred different varieties of vegetables, herbs, grains, and turf grass. As many plant diseases on as many different crops as is feasible are being studied on the DeMilia Research Farm in experimental field trials. A 2-acre field is being used for 3 rotations of annual vegetables, field crops, and herbs. A 1-acre field has been planted with perennials including strawberries, turf grass varieties, grains, herbs, and over-wintered field crops. A 3-acre orchard will be planted this winter with fruit trees, berry bushes, grape vines, and berry vines. We are currently in the process of building our farm infrastructure. Two wells will soon be dug to provide water for crops and farm buildings. Our farmhouse was originally built as an experimental passive solar home and the main solar room is being used for a hydroponics laboratory. Four small hothouses are being used for growing transplants. An equipment barn, a storage barn, a small plant pest diagnosis lab, a greenhouse, and a produce stand will be added to the farm in future years to facilitate our research.

U-Pick Vegetables and Herbs (With a Twist!)

The DeMilia Research Farm is one of the few farm produce stands in North Carolina that offers U-Pick vegetables and herbs. While most U-Pick operations are restricted to strawberries and small fruits, we offer the visitors the chance to hand pick their own vegetables and herbs. Our U-Pick is with a twist! You usually get to choose whether you pick from synthetic vs. organic pesticides treatment plots. You can even choose to pick from untreated control plots if you don't mind a little more damage from bugs and diseases. Just keep in mind that, due to the nature of our field experiments, none of our produce is "Certified Organic" and minor pesticide spray drift cannot always be completely avoided between small experimental treatment plots even while we strive to prevent it. An additional twist on our U-Pick operation is that we need to collect yield data on our experimental treatments and weigh what you harvest from each crop treatment plot. So kids of all ages (including kids at heart) get to try their hands as an agricultural researcher collecting experimental data.

Not only is our produce fresh straight from the field, but it is cheap! We strive to keep our produce prices at below supermarket costs and offer roughly wholesale level produces for bulk purchases. We usually have some recently harvested produce in our refrigerators and can pick it for you ourselves at a slightly higher cost if you do not wish to get your hands dirty. We only produce enough grain for our chickens, but if you catch us at just the right time of year, then you try your hand at old fashioned grain harvesting using a scythe and hand thresher. DeMilia Reserch Farm is a member of the Got to Be NC Agriculture program and has a General Store listing in the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services directory. In addition to cash and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Debit), we accept food stamp benefits through the USDA SNAP program.

Hours of Operation (Call 919-522-1567 to Make an Appointment)

The produce stand and U-Pick are officially opened for the 2015 growing season. Until we can afford to add a dedicated building, our produce stand will consist of an adhoc tent (or just a table) for weighing and a garage refrigerator. Make sure you also look for us at the Rolesville Farmer's Market and the Franklin County Farmer's Market. We do not have a dedicated staff for produce stand operations and are continuously busy working on the farm, yet we are almost always around since the farm is also our home. Give us a call to arrange a visit and we will try to accommodate you, particularly during the listed hours, sometimes even at the last minute.

Produce Currently Available (Updated November 15, 2016)

Produce Available Soon (Updated November 15, 2016)

Risks and Liability

DeMilia Research LLC, is a family owned and operated small business that develops web based computer software applications for agricultural pest management and conducts agricultural research experiments on our family farm. We do not have a team of lawyers and wads of cash to defend us against frivilous lawsuits by every scam artist looking for a payday. We are attempting to provide a public service at a very limited budget. So if you try to cash in, then we may need to simply shut down operations and you will hurt a lot of people without ever making a penny from it. If you have questions about our policies, please contact us at info@demiliaresearch.com.

We strive to commit to Good Agricultural Practices and we are currently preparing for an initial certification audit. Nevertheless, please be aware that we are a small scale polyculture farm conducting agricultural research operating under a very limited budget. We do not have all the expensive specialized harvesting equipment, packing houses, and storage facilities of larger specialized farming operations. So let the buyer beware with regard to the consumption of our produce. Furthermore, when you harvest your produce yourself on a U-Pick farm, you are doing so without the knowledge and skill of a seasoned professional, hence, you assume additional responsibility for any kind food contamination or food-borne illness.

There are always risks to visiting any agritourism operation, especially one that is a actively working family farm rather than a typical commercial business establishment or tourist attraction. While we certainly welcome visitors with physical or mental disabilities, please be aware that we do not have special accommodations for them. Our only rest room facilities are within our home and we will certainly let you use them in an emergency, but please "go before you come". Please watch your own children carefully! Please also do not enter our home without asking. We are far from being neat freaks, still try to avoid dragging too much dirt from the fields into the house if you do. Just ask if you need to wash off with a hose. Please do not chase our chickens and be aware that they make peck you if you try to pet them even though they are usually friendly. Our dog, Lucky, while not viscious is rather rambunctious and often will nip or scratch. Please do not let your children approach or try to pet him since he can very easily knock them over or tangle them in his leash. We do not have staff for handling visitors and are usually busy with other things while you are harvesting your produce so we expect you to be careful and responsible. Furthermore, please be aware that we have a very long single vehicle wide rock driveway with only grass parking areas so vehicular traffic is limited. Most importantly, we have young children at play so drive carefully and slowly on our property and be especially watchful for our wandering chickens. You are visiting our home so please respect our privacy and possessions just as you would wish to be treated by visitors to your own home. Unless we have planned other activities with you, we expect you to complete your U-Pick harvest in a timely manner and not linger on the property. You will be treated as a home trespasser under the law if we ask you to leave and you refuse. The DeMilia Research Farm operates as an agritourism location in NC and fully claims its rights under the 2005 NC Agritourism Limited Liability Law. We display signs on the farm alerting visitors of this and include it below:

Warning

Under North Carolina law, there is no liability for an injury to or death of a participant in an agritourism activity conducted at this agritourism location if such injury or death results from the inherent risks of the agritourism activity. Inherent risks of agritourism activities include, among others, risks of injury inherent to land, equipment, and animals, as well as the potential for you to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to your injury or death. You are assuming the risk of participating in this agritourism activity.

295 Pine Ridge Rd
Zebulon NC 27597
919-522-1567

Our child has a life threatening peanut allergy so any food containing peanuts, even trace amounts, is not allowed on the DeMilia Research Farm!

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Coming in the future. A produce stand building.

 
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