County Road 12: From surfer to organic produce farmer in Macon County

Lifetime Natural Organic Farm is the largest USDA Organic certified farm in Alabama

County Road 12: Lifetime Natural Organic Farm

MACON COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - Nelson Wells has just about done it all. From the Pacific Ocean, to big time college football, to running a history-making farm in Macon County.

“I grew up in Southern California,” Wells said. “As soon as I came out I was in the pool and in the ocean and I’ve been surfing ever since.”

Along with riding waves, he had a passion for catching passes. Wells played big time college football as tight end at the University of Southern California. Later in life he moved to the South with his mom and got involved in the agriculture industry. He had a farm in Verbena about 10 years ago. Even though that farm didn’t make it, his time in the field wasn’t over.

About six months ago Wells was looking for a spot to grown organic produce. A friend told him to check out the George Washington Carver museum at Tuskegee University. After that, he was sold.

“Six months ago this was just tall grass. With 20 acres, now we are the largest USDA certified organic farm in the state of Alabama," Wells said.

Not bad for a wave riding football player from the West Coast. Wells credits his faith with opening doors and allowing him to be successful at just about everything he does. That includes Lifetime Natural Organic Farm.

“I tell my field hands this will be the hardest job you’ve ever had, and the most rewarding job you’ve ever had,” Wells said.

When it comes to fresh produce, you name it, they grow it. They have a little bit of everything. As for the quality, they recently signed a deal to sell their vegetables at Whole Foods.

“Wow, that was kind of one of those gotcha, gotcha moments in my life. It’s just such a blessing to have Whole Foods and that they believed in us and me to be part of their family,” Wells said.

The vegetables from his farm are also sold in Publix, and he’s just getting started. In the near future he’s hoping to expand and grow more organic products on the currently unused 40 acres on that property.

Wells said growing those perfect vegetables is kind of like catching that perfect wave.

“People know me from back at home, when I catch a big wave and it’s exciting I will say ‘yeah baby!’”

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