Written by Slow Food USA’s PR & Marketing Manager, Emily Walsh
Symbiosis between a mother and child begins at infancy when the child still depends upon them for survival and it usually starts to taper off as the child becomes more self-sufficient. But by the time the child reaches adulthood, they and their mother, while still close, are often living separate lives that are independent of one another in many ways.
I wanted to preface the following transcript with this idea because I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Margaret Norfleet-Neff and Salem Neff, and they truly have one of the most special parent-child relationships I’ve ever encountered. In addition to sharing the same life passion—enjoying and connecting others with Good, Clean and Fair food—they work together. And while we all know working with family has a reputation for being a bad idea, this mother-daughter duo seems to know the secret. Always ready to jump in and help the other finish their sentences, they are seemingly as comfortable challenging the other to think about things differently.
In addition to their work with the local Slow Food chapter (Slow Food Piedmont Triad), Margaret and Salem own Beta Verde, a local food project that plays a variety of roles in Winston-Salem’s (North Carolina) food and farming community. From planning farm-to-table events, to partnering on research and the development of new food and agricultural initiatives, to specializing in preservation of the season’s harvest, the project promotes Slow Food and makes more people more aware of the story behind their food. They’re also market managers for the Old Salem Cobblestone Farmers Market, which U.S. News and World Report recently voted one of America’s 11 best farmers markets.
So without further ado, please meet Margaret and Salem!