You can't have a Family Farm without Family
Most of us know our Family as the ones we share a meal with occasionally, and the ones we share a house with for a portion of our lives. The ones we see for a total of a few hours every day and some extra time on the weekends. That is not the case on the Barrier Farm. For generations our Family has been living in the exact same place, Mount Pleasant, NC. As one of the original families that turned it into an actual town, we literally don't know of any other home. Why our family decided that this was the best place to raise their family we don't know...but who are we to judge? Living in a small town for so long has its huge benefits one of them being a lot of our community is our family, made up of cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, some far removed and some real close ones. Our children enjoyed the same childhood we did, living in the same places and with the same people. While our whole family story is fascinating, and mostly just full of funny stories as well as a few heartbreaks, lets just stick to introducing the few you will see the most on the farm. While the farm is in the same place as it was 80 years ago a lot has changed. Its modernized, its grown, its branched out into other types of farming. Most of that is thanks to the hard work and long days of the previous generations oldest Barrier son.
(Click on photos to see more of the slideshow)
Landon. Landon is normally seen running the family farm from the seat of his combine or his truck. During his precious few minutes of free time during the day (just ask him they're few and far between) you'll find him talking with customers and friends that stop by for a few minutes or an hour. Growing up on farm instilled in him, a love for the land and raising animals and he often dreamed of leaving the family farm and going out to the western states where there are no hills and corn goes on for miles without stopping. In fact he almost did leave, but changed his mind last minute to work on a nearby farm, where as fate would have it he found something a little more important than miles of uninterupted corn. After meeting a very special lady at the Porter Farm he decided he was going to stay right where he was and take over the family farm...hills, rocks and all. Soon after they got married and survived on love....that's all just love. Landon loves to tell the stories of them just starting out, broke but feeling like the had the whole world at the same time. They decided to move into a very old, run down little house that they could rent for just $60 a month in order to put all their extra money into the farm, determined that it would support them. They still think back on that little white house with smiles on their faces and a "what the heck where we thinking?" coming out of their mouths. The house didn't even have a floor in the kitchen...it was just a giant hole that went down to the ground! Thankfully though, Landon found a piece of plywood just the right size to cover it, and you can bet your bottom dollar that he took that same piece of wood with him years after they moved out. Only two children were born there, mostly because if they would've had another one, he would've had to sleep on the porch because of the lack of room! But with a lot of sweat, long long days, and sacrificing, they built a business to be proud of, one to pass down to their kids and grandkids after that. So if you enjoy buying your animals feed from Barrier Mill, or you can only hunt with our persimmon deer corn now, thank Landon Barrier, He will really appreciate it.
Shannon. If you have kids that go to Mount Pleasant public schools then you probably know Shannon Barrier. The fun loving Mom of four boys might not been seen around the farm as much anymore but thats because she's running all the farm errands, paying bills, helping with field trips and making sure she gets food for her house of boys all at the same time. You've probably passed her a million times riding down Barrier Store on her lawnmower, off to make sure all of our grass is cut perfectly and making sure we all look respectable at the end of the day. Full of patience and no bull**** she is the backbone of the farm. Making sure the taxes are turned in on time, everyone gets paid, and the lights stay on at the mill house no matter how late at night. You'll be happy to hear that she no longer has a hole in her kitchen floor anymore and she doesn't have to heat her house with little wood stove anymore (seriously that house was special). So if you stop by the farm and you notice all the lights are on and all the guys are still working, just know that Shannon got all the bills paid and the paychecks out and maybe just maybe drive across the street and thank her. Just try not to hit any of her dogs or boys, there are a lot of them, and speaking of boys...
Levi. The oldest son, the first one born in that little white house with the hole in the floor. If you're a long time customer of Barrier Farms you likely know his face from when he was little and helping out around the mill house, making feed and probably breaking a few things trying to "fix" them. A man of few words you're much more likely to find him out in the field with the cows or driving the dump trucks rather than sitting around talking to customers. Following closely in his parents footsteps, the love of farming stuck with him as well as marrying young. It was Levi's idea to start selling meat products to the public in order to grow the animal side of the family farm which is his favorite part. If one day all his gets to do is work with animals all day long he will die a happy man. So if you are one of our customers that really enjoys a Barrier Farms steak, or a piece of our fried chicken, thank Levi. Maybe just maybe thank his wife too, which most of you will recognize as Tia. She's the voice on the other end of the phone that takes your order, and schedules all of the beef and chicken side of the business. Much like her mother in law, Shannon, she also helps out by just putting up with all of the rest of the family, mostly her brother in laws because they need a lot of patience! Thankfully she upgraded a little and her house DOESN'T have a hole in the kitchen floor...though she may be missing a cabinet door.
Wyatt. Wyatt is the second oldest son and is often found around the mill house making all the different animal feeds we sell. Currently enrolled at UNCC we aren't sure how much longer we will have Wyatt around everyday, but we do love having him here. His sarcastic humor is sure to make the time pass faster. Almost always seen with a cherry lemon Sundrop in hand, Wyatt is the one you go to for help with your computer and keeps all our phones updated and working in the dust of the farm. Much like his older brother and Dad he isn't much of a talker, mostly because he's thinking about how he's going to make his next computer program or on how to convince Shannon to let him convert the 100 year old family home over to solar powered. He might not be the biggest farmer of the family but he's definitely one we are pretty dang proud of.
The Buddies. The age old problem with twins is that there is never one without the other, one single entity. Stone and Gage A.K.A. The Buddies. Named by their older brother Wyatt, who as a toddler at their birth couldn't tell them apart and instead just called them his "buddies", and don't you dare call them "The Twins". The resident babies of the farm, the Buddies tied for the youngest Barrier son almost to the minute and they've been fighting about it ever since. Unlike their older brothers they are not young men of few words, definitely taking after their mom in that respect. Always up for having their picture taken, always up for letting you buy them a snack, always down for a gator ride to see Darla their "dog niece". They will be starting high school this coming school year and we will be seeing much more of them around the farm. They can be found helping out around the mill house, moving chickens, and their newest jobs baling straw and hay. While we often wonder how we got stuck with double trouble, we wouldn't trade The Buddies for all the dogs and candy in the world!
We are pretty thankful for life we've been able to build and even more thankful for the family we've been able to build it with. We hope to be able to keep this farm alive for many more generations of our family to enjoy, and hopefully to help it grow even larger. Thank you for following along and for supporting our family as customers and friends. We hope to see your family out on the farm soon!