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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

ORAL HISTORY

Carla Shuford, market shopper since 1979


Carla Shuford grew up on a farm in the mountains of North Carolina in the 1940s and ’50s. Her father was an early convert to organic farming methods. At age fifteen, Shuford was diagnosed with cancer, and her left leg was amputated. Even after the surgery, doctors gave her a dire prognosis. Shuford began following the Gerson Therapy, a diet based on based on organic fruit and vegetable juices, and her cancer never returned. Fifty years later, she attributes her survival to a produce-centric diet supplemented with whole grains and protein from fish and free-range eggs. A devoted patron of the Carrboro Farmers’ Market since its inception in 1979, Shuford sees the farmers as her medical team, her friends, and her family. She is consistently the first patron to arrive at the Saturday market, where she buys crates of fruits, vegetables, eggs, bread, and grains before the sun has cleared the horizon. As one farmer explains, “There’s early, and then there’s Carla.”

Date of interview:
2011-08-24 00:00

Interviewer:
Sara Camp Arnold

Photographer:
Sara Camp Arnold

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