Authors recognized for blacklands stories

Published 5:39 pm Wednesday, August 24, 2016

From the Blacklands Farm Managers Association

ENGELHARD — The Blacklands Farm Managers Association honored local authors at their summer tour event on Aug. 3. Philip McMullan Jr., Cy Rich Jr., Joe Landino, Steve Barnes and Paul Lilley were recognized for their service to blacklands farmers through the publication of “North Carolina’s Blacklands Treasure,” a history of the Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula.

The book explores the region from early land clearing to the post-Civil War timber boom; from the early farming pioneers to the preeminent First Colony Farms; and from environmental contests to current agricultural trends.

Rich Jr., of Edenton, was raised on his father’s blackland farm, and it is in large part through his inspiration and passion for the blacklands that this book came into being. Primary author McMullan pulled from a variety of resources, including Lilley’s and his own research, to tell the story of North Carolina’s blacklands, which boast some of the most fertile farmlands in the United States. With personal accounts from farmer and forester Landino and soils expert Barnes, this book explores the elaborate history of this alluring land, from pre-history through the present. Penelope Carroll of Pamlico & Albemarle Publishing, a small imprint based in Nags Head, pulled these stories together and produced the book, featuring photography of blacklands farmer Ken Cherry.

The book is available at select local outlets and at