TIM & HELGA MACALLER
Helga grew up in a tiny village in Denmark surrounded by farms. Her parents and all of her aunts and uncles were small farmers. Growing up she helped her mother in the vegetable garden, taking care of a small flock of chickens and riding her bicycle around the village selling strawberries, gooseberries and raspberries. So you could say she came to it naturally. She left the village at age 18 to go see the world. First to Berlin, Germany, where she trained to become a Physical Therapist, next she traveled around Southeast Asia for a few months and finally came to NC to visit a friend and never left. In 2008 she retired from her job as a PT at Duke to work full time on the little "farmlet" in Rougemont and has not looked back since.
Tim grew up in the sunny suburbs of southern California. He was first exposed to the wonder of all things green during college at UC Irvine where he had a plot in the community gardens. He pursued this passion in an academic way by moving to Durham in 1976 to go to grad school in botany at Duke. He decided to use his scientific training to grow things and found a country place east of Durham and started working as a laborer on the research farms at NC State. He met his farm mentor and friend, Carlyle Woodlief, there in 1979. In the same year he met Helga Petersen, a traveling Dane.
To keep the story strictly about farming, Helga and Tim founded Four Leaf Farm in 1980 and started selling vegetables, cut flowers, and bedding plants at the Carborro Farmer's Market in that year. They took a hiatus to raise a family in 1984 when they moved to their present location. After many years of gardening, their youngest son, Sven convinced them that it would be a good idea to start selling left over plants and excess garden vegetables at the market in Hillsborough. Like true addicts, that first sale in 2001 got them hooked again and they have been growing and selling ever since.