Olin and Leigh Funderburk own Stoney Creek Farm, a sustainable, natural learning farm located in Franklin, TN.
The couple started growing vegetables on their farm in 2009. They grow their own produce, make their own bread, gather eggs from their chickens and pollinate and protect their crops with bees and other insects instead of relying on herbicides and pesticides. It’s part of a larger shift to sustainable living, fueled by a desire to eat natural, chemical-free foods, to live frugally and to return to a simpler life. They also rent garden plots to people who want to grow their own food
Leigh, who worked in corporate sales until 2013, has seen a growing interest for workshops she hosts in her home — regular courses on topics ranging from cooking with plant-based foods to canning to bread making — and on the number ofgarden plots she and Olin rent out to others on their 15-acre Stoney Creek Farm. In 2009, three people rented plots, compared to about 17 to 20 today.
Olin Funderburk was able to retire from his construction business and now works as a consultant helping clients develop sustainable gardens and operations on their own properties.
“It’s about helping people learn how to be self-sufficient and where their food comes from,” Leigh Funderburk said. “We have families that come out here during the summer and the kids have never picked a green bean or a tomato. They are just not exposed to that.”
Many of those the Funderburks work with are younger couples with young kids, often with one parent who wishes to quit working and learn to live more simply. Some have started their own small businesses, Olin Funderburk said, describing a woman who sells fresh-cut flowers she grows, another who sells eggs laid on her farm and a third who opened a berry-picking farm as another source of income. “Our lifestyle allows us to live simply,” Leigh Funderburk said. “I can all my vegetables so we eat out of the freezer all year ... It’s a lot less expensive overall than to buy from the grocery store.”
*Adapted from Living Simply - Tennessean by Jamie McGee