Jamie and Sara Jane Davis started A Way of Life Farm in January 2009. Our intentions on this land are a culmination of varied experiences and common values. Living on land that we can grow on for the rest of our days is a dream come true!
Jamie grew up in Polk County, NC, learning the meaning of hard work while cutting hay and mending fences on the family horse farm. As a student of music, yoga, and permaculture design, he strives to apply observation, creativity, discipline, and care for the land in his approach to farming.
Sara Jane was raised in New Orleans and was a student of environmental studies and sustainable agriculture at Oberlin College in Ohio (where these two crazy kids met). With a deep concern for injustices in our society and natural environment, she gave much thought to her role in the world and concluded that growing good food while living simply and happily was the way to go. Beginning with her grandfather’s garden in Upstate NY, she learned from gardeners and farmers at all ends of the country and in Ireland before settling in North Carolina.
Our sons, Alder and Will, were born right here on the farm in 2011 and 2013. They love foraging fruits, veggies, and wild greens from the farm, making forts, listening to stories, building with Legos, and playing in the creek.
To use diverse natural systems that build living soil while producing food for healthy people, healthy economy, and healthy ecology.
We do not use synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides or GMOs anywhere on the farm.
Our farm name came about with two meanings in mind. First was the realization that our farm was more than a job or a hobby, but a presence that permeates all aspects of our lives, from our attention and time to our values and relationships. Second is the cyclical nature, or way, of life- the constant renewal coming from growth, death, decay, and new life. This may seem mundane or obvious, but when you really pay attention to these processes in nature, it's breathtaking.
Most of the land that became A Way of Life Farm had been a clear cut pine forest. Our first year here, we had our first "intern", a family friend, Camille, who was gracious enough to help during the muddled and hectic days when we were just getting our bearings. She is an amazing artist and volunteered to design a logo for the farm. We didn't know what we were looking for until we were moving logs up on the old clear cut and noticed that one of the logs had a healthy plant growing out of it. A seed had nestled into a crevice filled with enough decaying wood that it took root and grew! Camille created our logo from there- life of all kinds springing from a fallen tree.
We hoped that we could be helpful to this land and encourage the return of a variety of life when we moved here 10 years ago. On less than 2 acres, we grow over 40 kinds of USDA Certified Organic produce with careful attention to the soil to provide nutrient-dense food for our family and customers.
We imagined food-bearing trees and plants, ponds, and pastures throughout much of the rest of our land-- what initially looked like red clay desert, brambles, and small pines. We’re making steady progress on this broader permaculture design, and we’re thrilled to be a part of a process that will span generations.
Apprentices have shared their time and talents to improve the farm. Working long days to get the tomatoes planted, carrots dug, or round up some pigs, these folks are an integral part of the farm.