Todd was born in the small town of LaGrande, Oregon and joined the United States Air Force right after high school graduation as a radio operator. After leaving the USAF, he moved to the Raleigh, NC area for employment. Joni is a native of NC and was raised in Burlington. She went to school at NC State for college, and stayed in the Raleigh area after that.
Todd was laid off from his job as a building superintendent in the economical crash of 2007. Joni was laid off a month later from her teaching job. Finding themselves in a difficult situation without a job, they decided to try farming their small ¾ acre property in Zebulon, NC. “We had a small garden and raised goats, rabbits, pigeon, and chickens to help support and feed our family for the almost two years of unemployment.” Todd found a minimum wage job as a mechanic a couple months after the birth of their daughter, Rebekah, in 2009, but continued farming on the side with dreams of someday having enough land to be self-sufficient and not depend on an outside income.
Over the years, the McPhetridge family served the community through organizations such as Meals on Wheels and gleaning through the Society of St. Andrews. The family has always had a heart for the poor and needy in the community. Not only have they been gleaning for over 15 years, but they deliver to food pantries and other organizations that benefit from food donations.
In August 2018, the McPhetridge family were blessed to purchase 11 acres in Franklinton, NC. Their dreams of a bigger farm became a reality. They began making big plans of growing the farm into a place where they not only could eventually be self-sufficient, but also help others in the community. With their family’s mission of helping others in mind, Todd and Joni began praying about what to focus on planting initially. They had heard many of the benefits of hemp and CBD oil over the years and had seen the effects of it personally with family and friends dealing with anxiety, fibromyalgia, and other ailments, so they decided to look more into growing hemp themselves.
In the Fall of 2021, the state of NC decided to let the federal government take over the regulations of growing hemp in NC, so the family decided to not renew their license.
While looking into what to try next, the family decided to look further into growing elderberries on a larger scale on the farm. They were already making elderberry products and understood the amazing benefits of the elderberry, so it was a natural transition to begin growing them in place of hemp. In late winter of 2022, over 300 new elderberry cuttings were put in the ground to begin the process of becoming a local elderberry farm.