Baskets and crates overflow with fresh fruits and vegetables at Debra's stand at the Raleigh, North Carolina, farmers' market. Lettuce, sweet corn, melons, sugar snaps, tomatoes, several varieties of eggplant — it's all grown by Debra and her family in the nearby community of Newton Grove.
The Lees have farmed here for generations and for years have marketed directly to consumers as well as to restaurateurs and grocers who want to offer local produce. Debra's husband, mother, and brothers all are involved in the operation, tending a total of eight farms around the community. The high quality of the family's produce has created a loyal following with consumers and merchants alike. One customer has been a regular for more than 40 years.