A place that makes you so aware of time and seasons passing but makes you stop in the present moment, so the memory is that much sweeter, longer, and more authentic. It is where voices and sounds are heard even after their time has passed. "This place," it turns out, is here, at this very modest farm we call Sassafras Fork. It is not adorned with craggy mountain peaks, horizon lines that never end, powdery ski slopes, endless mountain biking trails, acres upon acres of field crops, or the ocean's tides. It is a place cut by a river, where roots have been growing, and words have been remembered, a place where I have been loved, and a place that has taught me to love. This place is profoundly rooted inside of my family and me.
We strive to make our home increasingly in sync with its natural rhythms amidst the introductions of carefully chosen livestock, crop rotations, and farm infrastructure. We are committed to cultivating quality in our pastures and fields, so you can savor and benefit from the health our land has to offer. We hope it nurtures you in your homes, at the dinner table, and in your lives. We look forward to sharing Sassafras Fork with you. Please enjoy the bounty from our home.
J. ED. is indeed the soul of Sassafras Fork and, as my great grandmother said, "the salt of the earth." Reared on his family's small dairy farm in Louisiana, J.Ed. thought he had escaped farm life after 30 years of teaching and research at UNC. He's surprised but deeply contented with a return to his roots, tending the pastures, fields, and forests full-time. His respect for and connection to this piece of land and his astute eyes, ears, and passion for his natural surroundings are qualities that intuitively guide Sassafras Fork Farm.
KATHLEEN is the cheerful, spirited backbone of the farm & family. You can experience her friendly, feisty personality aboard a Delta jet, flying weekly since 1969 to destinations all over the world. When her feet are on the ground, she fully embraces farm life, nurturing baby animals, tending her flowerbeds, and quickly taking on the role of farm tour guide.
MIKE muscled his way quickly into farm life. He fell in love on the farm, got engaged, moved to the farm, and got married, marking the beginning of Sassafras Fork Events. Master of Carpentry & Director of Tools and Equipment, he is the top salesman at our Saturday Farmers' Market, delivers our produce and flowers during the week, all the while working full-time on his new business advancing environmentally innovative manufacturing start-ups.
And then there's me, STEPHANIE. After the soul, backbone, and muscle are formed, the farm needs a heart. My heart has always been a seeker of beauty and passion--a constant in a quest to figure out my place in the world. I have a life full of amazing people, extraordinary places, and magical moments all steering me to Sassafras Fork. It is here that I feel solidly rooted, despite my intrinsic wanderlust longings. With roots comes a solid foundation and radiant outbursts of growth. I revel in the sudden eruption of green after a seed has been planted, the steam twirling off an active compost heap, the beauty of dirty fingernails and soil-stained jeans, the exuberant hop of little lambs as they show their infant vitality, but most of all, the exaltation of a flower in bloom.