For some, farming is just about growing an agricultural product, but for others, it’s a way to help change the world. Darby Weaver, 28, and her husband, 30-year-old Elliot Smith, fit into this second category.
“Farming is a great [form of] activism and an even greater lifestyle,” says Weaver. “The more we learn about utilizing the natural forces of the planet for regeneration and sustainability, the more power we have as individuals to change this world.”
The couple has been farming their nine-acre biodynamic farm in the southern Appalachian mountains of Georgia for the past few years (they purchased it in early 2015 after leasing for two years), but it has a history that predates their tenure. The land was formerly farmed by Hugh Lovel, the well-known biodynamic agricultural consultant and author, who was a mentor for Weaver. Biodynamic farming goes beyond organic methods and is rooted in the teachings of the early 20th century philosopher Rudolph Steiner.
Weaver originally hails from Pennsylvania and received an undergraduate degree in sustainable agriculture from Sterling College in Vermont before heading south to Georgia. The couple worked at various farms until they were able to save up enough to buy their own land.
Weaver and Smith, who is originally from Atlanta, grow biodynamic market vegetables and flowers, and raise Katahdin sheep (a breed native to Maine), a Dexter milk cow, chickens (for eggs and meat), pigs, ducks, and bees.
The farm is also a working homestead and the couple are able to produce most of what they need. The excess is sold through a CSA and at a farmers market
Weaver says it was “the desire to steward an ecology while promoting health and wellness for myself and my community” that led her to become a farmer.