About Us

The Plant is a diverse 16-acre eco-industrial park located on the east side of Pittsboro, North Carolina. Years ago, it was part of an enormous flower farm, Sunshine Flowers or Boardman’s Flower Farm, which stretched from Robeson Creek to Highway 64. In the late ’80’s, The Plant was acquired by Inco Alloys who constructed the four main buildings and used them to manufacture metal alloys for military use.

Inco Alloys closed their plant in 1993, and the buildings sat, locked behind a tall, barbed wire-topped fence. The property caught the attention of Lyle Estill and Tami Schwerin, and in 2004 they purchased it with a vision towards sustainability. Within this fence, they would grow food, make fuel, and promote local resilience.

Together with Lyle’s brother, Mark, Tami and Lyle created a green industry incubator, affectionately referring to their eco-industrial business park as “The Project”. Among the incubated were Doug Jones’ Piedmont Biofarm, Screech Owl Greenhouses, HOMS/EcoBlend, and Eastern Carolina Organics.

Today, The Plant is home to Chatham Beverage District, and as such, home to Fair Game Beverage Company and Chatham Cider Works with Nazz’d Brew Works and Pub poised to move in. And our newest neighbors, Starrlight Mead, is busy constructing their beautiful new tasting room.

Mark Estill

Mark Estill

Meanwhile, some of our original tenants are still with us. Biofuels Co-op dispenses biodiesel fuel made from waste vegetable oil, ECOblend manufactures safe and sustainable weed and pest control products, Abundance NC continues cultivating community resilience, and BioFarm and Screech Owl Greenhouses are still growing delicious produce.

The Plant is proud of their beautiful event grounds which have seen conferences, workshops, carnivals, fiestas, faires, birthdays, weddings, and a funeral. In 2016, we added Pittsboro Farm and Forest Trail, a 3/4 mile walking trail open to the public. On weekends, beginning at 4:00 PM Friday afternoon, Fair Game opens its tasting room and taps with a great selection of local brews and Chatham Cider Works’ hard cider. And on many weekends, there is some happening going on. You can see what’s coming up next on our Event Calendar.

One thing is for sure, there is nothing static about our unique business park. Ever-tuned to the flow of life and local economy, The Plant is truly alive, green, and growing. Join us as tenants, for events, tastings or a stroll down the trail. Don’t be shy. Come on by!
 

Tami Schwerin and Lyle Estill, owners

Tami is executive director of Abundance, NC
Lyle is the sales engine behind Fair Game Beverage Company

 

Malcolm Kingslight

Keeps everything looking good and running smoothly