Last Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting Leigh and Olin Funderburk at Stoney Creek Farm. They are Business Impact Partners of Way FM and I heard about their farm while listening to the radio on my way to work. Since I’m always on the look out for new farms to patronize, I signed up to receive their weekly newsletter. A few days later, I received an email that their U-Pick season was ending on July 23, 2016.
Since temperatures were supposed to be in the upper nineties, I made sure I was at the farm in Franklin, Tennessee by eight am. Leigh greeted me as I walked up and told me where the fruits, veggies, and herbs were located and even gave me a glove so I’d be protected from the prickly cucumbers and squash. There wasn’t a huge selection of cucumbers, zucchini, squash or blackberries, but tomatoes, wow, there were a lot of beautiful tomatoes!
After I picked all that I wanted, I spent some time chatting with Leigh and Olin, who are two of the most delightful people I’ve ever met. They are great storytellers and Leigh’s a pretty good salesperson too – in addition to the berries, veggies, and basil I bought, I also bought some sourdough rolls, a book they’d written, and a temporary tattoo to help support the volunteers on the farm. The rolls were amazing by the way – I ate several the first day!
The book, Dirt Rich: How To Experience More Joy And Less Stress Through Sustainable Farm Living, tells the story of how they came to own Stoney Creek Farm and what it means to farm sustainably. Though I’ve only read the first three chapters so far, I’m enjoying their story and their perspective on how to farm successfully.
There’s something about people who farm – there’s a look that comes over their face as they look across their property and the way they admit that it’s not an easy life, but it’s one they wouldn’t trade for anything. It’s a pleasure to get to know them and feel the connection between what they grow and what I consume. It seems to me that it’s a holy sort of thing, this connection, something that doesn’t happen when I buy food off the shelf in the grocery store.
Even though the season is over, Leigh and Olin will continue to offer classes and other events at the farm. They’ll still have tomatoes for a while so head over to pick some up before the season is done for good!