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A Way of Life Farm has the goal of fostering healthy people, healthy economy, and healthy ecology through food production. With a crew of two farmers, four apprentices, two children, and extended family, we grow vegetables, strawberries, blueberries, and pasture-raised pork for sale to farmers’ market, CSA, and restaurant customers. This commercial production is integral to a broader permaculture design and land revitalization. It includes the development of fruit and nut orchards (persimmon, pawpaw, tea camelia, muscadines, chestnuts, and apples) and mushroom production. A combination of organic and sustainable practices including low-till raised beds, cover cropping, Kinsey-Albrecht method, keyline plowing, Holistic Management, and permaculture design are used throughout our land. About 90% of our time is spent growing vegetables. We start our own vegetable transplants from seed and propagate perennials in a permanent greenhouse. Over 30 types of vegetables and herbs are grown outdoors in raised beds and under cover of high tunnels and caterpillar tunnels. A tractor is used for initial bed preparation, but most of our work -- planting, weeding, harvesting -- is done with hand tools.
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Our products are sold through the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market, The River Arts District Farmers’ Market, a few restaurants, and our CSA.

About purchasing from A Way of Life...

“Great variety, sound permaculture practices, always organic, wonderful farming family and optional monthly pork sampler shares.”

- Lee, CSA member

“Sara Jane and Jamie are amazing. They are dedicated problem-solvers and love their farm, and it shows in the produce and pork they bring to market each week. It is veggie art - clean and beautiful. Visiting the farm, seeing the operation, and spending time with their family and assistants is a joy. I cannot say enough good things about their work, warmth, and professionalism.”

- Elizabeth, customer

“I have been a member of A Way Of Life Csa CSA for six years now, and my affection and appreciation for my farmers, Sara Jane and Jamie Davis, has grown greatly over this course of time. This couple has a deep love and respect for the Earth and no matter what difficulties (destructive weather, seemingly endless physically challenging tasks from dawn to dusk, voracious bugs and weeds, and even pigs that escape their pens!) I have seen them stay firmly fixed on their vision to be wholesome food providers that only do good and "do no harm" to our dear planet. They are continuously learning and innovating on their lovely little farm which is truly a classroom without walls. I also enjoy their kids and love seeing them grow up.

Now, this could all be true and wonderful, but if the food they grew wasn't good, I wouldn't continue to keep them as my family's source of produce and pork. But, I am delighted to say that everything in each weeks share is big, beautiful, delicious and clean! And when there's an abundance of a particular crop, we have the option of purchasing additional. Every week without exception I am grateful & proud to be placing food before my family that Sara Jane & Jamie have lovingly labored to grown here in western North Carolina in a way that strives to be what we call "sustainable". For me this is a gift of peace and connection to the true rhythms of life in our fast paced and often disconnected culture.”

- CSA, customer

Our work schedule…

We offer apprenticeships starting as early as mid-January and ending in November and have part-time positions available in the winter. We typically work between 40-50 hours each week. We expect hard work during these hours and also respect your time and life away from the farm, trying our best to stick to a prearranged schedule. A typical day will begin at 7:45 am and end at 5:45 pm, with 2 hours for lunch. Apprentices have every Sunday off, one Wednesday afternoon/month off beginning in May, and one four-day weekend in the summer (Saturday-Tuesday). Saturdays will rotate between going to the Farmers’ Market and having the day off. Fridays are one of the busiest farm days and cannot be missed. Occasionally, the farm will demand longer days just to get to job done. We make lunch for the crew twice a week and apprentices often choose to have potlucks throughout the week.

Compensation offered...

Apprentices receive a monthly stipend starting at $700/month (with merit-based raises), housing in a personal camper-trailer or tiny home (with electricity, cold water, outhouse, hot shower and propane cooking appliances), two farm crew meals per week, vegetables from the farm, food staples, a pork credit, and participation in monthly CRAFT farm tours.

Our farm is a very active member in the CRAFT network.

Our location…

We're located in a rural area in the foothills of Western NC. Our property is 40 acres and includes a beautiful creek to dip your feet in during the summer. Forest City, the nearest town, is a 15 minute drive with everything we need and a charming main street with a few restaurants, bars, and shops. Larger towns, Morganton and Shelby, are 30 minutes away, and Asheville and Charlotte are about an hour. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking and swimming nearby at South Mountain State Park.

What we’re looking for…

We are looking for curious apprentices with good communication skills and self-motivation. Some previous experience on a commercial farm is highly recommended -- this may take the form of previous farm internships or even just a couple days volunteering on a commercial farm. Experience with physical labor or intense outdoor activity is important. Our bodies are our primary tools on the farm. Hands-on learning is a given on a farm, but the ability to learn from listening is very valuable as a lot of information is conveyed verbally through informal “classes” in the field. We love committed partnerships, but unfortunately our housing doesn’t accommodate couples or pets.

To inquire about employment opportunities, please contact Sara Jane (farm owner/operator) by email between September and March or visit our website for further information.

About working for A Way of Life...

“I had a truly transformative experience working with Jaime and Sara Jane at A Way of Life Farm. This was my first full season working on a farm after having some experience with WWOOFing. Because I was so new to everything, the first couple of months were extremely challenging and it really felt like a crash course in organic farming. I learned so much in such a short amount of time and then was able to hone those skills as I continued learning throughout the season. I genuinely feel like I couldn't have gone through this experience with better mentors. Jaime and Sara Jane are both incredibly knowledgable and patient teachers. As someone who aspires to be a future farmer, it was inspiring to see two people who have made a happy, fulfilling, and successful life for themselves through organic farming.

The living arrangements at A Way of Life were a big bonus for me. It is difficult to find an apprenticeship that offers each employee their personal living spaces. I lived in one of the camper trailers and loved it. Every farming job is going to have long hours spent with the same people, so it really is a treat to have your own space

The location of the farm is great. It's right in between both Asheville and Charlotte while still being far enough away from each to enjoy the benefits of being in a rural area.

CRAFT events were a great way to socialize with other farmers and get a glimpse into how every farm does things differently. Jaime and Sara Jane were great about providing a farming education beyond the daily grind of the farm work.

I genuinely can't recommend A Way of Life enough. It in incredible to think back on my first days on the farm and the transformation that has occurred. I have learned so many of the technical skills and basic knowledge to help jump start my farming career, but even more importantly I have a greater sense of drive to achieve my goals after experiencing what life as an organic farmer is really like.

- Cecilia, former apprentice

“I learned a lot while on the farm. Jamie, Sara Jane and their two children, Alder and Will, were always so sweet and thoughtful. I enjoyed my time there and loved getting to know these incredible people. As expected, sometimes farm work can be rather challenging but Sara Jane and Jamie did all they could to make sure we were comfortable and happy. They are also excellent communicators.”

- Mae, former apprentice

“As highly as I can, I recommend the quality of the education, community, and inspiration at A Way of Life Farm. My apprenticeship with A Way of Life prepared me to go from very little formal farming experience, to the job I have now: running a farm with a 180-member sliding-scale CSA. A Way of Life farmers, Sara Jane and Jamie Davis, dedicate themselves to educating their apprentices. I've never seen a farm achieve such a balance between maintaining financial stability while also continuing to deepen ecological practices -- from no-till and other soil-building techniques to perennial fruit and nut cultivation, to woodland-raised pigs, and much more. I've also never seen farmers so dedicated to helping their apprenticeships learn -- rather than just carry out manual labor. Sara Jane and Jamie continuously shared their ever-increasing knowledge and experience: through mini "lectures" in the field, budgeting and goal-setting talks, making sure apprentices got to try out almost every aspect of farm management, and sharing their extensive library of farming resources. Even after I moved on to start my own farm, Sara Jane and Jamie have continued to answer my ongoing questions and help me think through farming challenges that come up. They've become resources -- and friends -- for the long-term. Then there's the farming community that A Way of Life Farm helps create. Though of course the farm isn't as close to big cities like Asheville, the local farming community is strong, vibrant, and fun, in and of itself. Being a part of that community for a season added so much richness to my apprenticeship experience. Neighbor farmers gathered regularly to share meals and advice, to market products together, and even to help each others' farm projects with work parties. Nearby Morganton is also a growing hub of a local food, with chefs, brewers, and farmers collaborating. As much as I learned technical farming skills, I also learned about the power of building a supportive farming community. More than anything, Sara Jane and Jamie taught me that it's possible to build a financial sound livelihood by farming, while also living up to a vision and caring for community and land. My apprenticeship gave me both the hard skills and the inspiration to farm in a way that is both idealistic and realistic. I fully recommend this apprenticeship. I'm happy to be a resource for anyone thinking of applying.”

- Julia, former apprentice (julia.b.sendor@gmail.com)

We hold annual farm tours. To check on our current events, please visit our website.

About purchasing from A Way of Life...

“Great variety, sound permaculture practices, always organic, wonderful farming family and optional monthly pork sampler shares.”

- Lee, CSA member

“Sara Jane and Jamie are amazing. They are dedicated problem-solvers and love their farm, and it shows in the produce and pork they bring to market each week. It is veggie art - clean and beautiful. Visiting the farm, seeing the operation, and spending time with their family and assistants is a joy. I cannot say enough good things about their work, warmth, and professionalism.”

- Elizabeth, customer

“I have been a member of A Way Of Life Csa CSA for six years now, and my affection and appreciation for my farmers, Sara Jane and Jamie Davis, has grown greatly over this course of time. This couple has a deep love and respect for the Earth and no matter what difficulties (destructive weather, seemingly endless physically challenging tasks from dawn to dusk, voracious bugs and weeds, and even pigs that escape their pens!) I have seen them stay firmly fixed on their vision to be wholesome food providers that only do good and "do no harm" to our dear planet. They are continuously learning and innovating on their lovely little farm which is truly a classroom without walls. I also enjoy their kids and love seeing them grow up.

Now, this could all be true and wonderful, but if the food they grew wasn't good, I wouldn't continue to keep them as my family's source of produce and pork. But, I am delighted to say that everything in each weeks share is big, beautiful, delicious and clean! And when there's an abundance of a particular crop, we have the option of purchasing additional. Every week without exception I am grateful & proud to be placing food before my family that Sara Jane & Jamie have lovingly labored to grown here in western North Carolina in a way that strives to be what we call "sustainable". For me this is a gift of peace and connection to the true rhythms of life in our fast paced and often disconnected culture.”

- CSA, customer

About working for A Way of Life...

“I had a truly transformative experience working with Jaime and Sara Jane at A Way of Life Farm. This was my first full season working on a farm after having some experience with WWOOFing. Because I was so new to everything, the first couple of months were extremely challenging and it really felt like a crash course in organic farming. I learned so much in such a short amount of time and then was able to hone those skills as I continued learning throughout the season. I genuinely feel like I couldn't have gone through this experience with better mentors. Jaime and Sara Jane are both incredibly knowledgable and patient teachers. As someone who aspires to be a future farmer, it was inspiring to see two people who have made a happy, fulfilling, and successful life for themselves through organic farming.

The living arrangements at A Way of Life were a big bonus for me. It is difficult to find an apprenticeship that offers each employee their personal living spaces. I lived in one of the camper trailers and loved it. Every farming job is going to have long hours spent with the same people, so it really is a treat to have your own space

The location of the farm is great. It's right in between both Asheville and Charlotte while still being far enough away from each to enjoy the benefits of being in a rural area.

CRAFT events were a great way to socialize with other farmers and get a glimpse into how every farm does things differently. Jaime and Sara Jane were great about providing a farming education beyond the daily grind of the farm work.


I genuinely can't recommend A Way of Life enough. It in incredible to think back on my first days on the farm and the transformation that has occurred. I have learned so many of the technical skills and basic knowledge to help jump start my farming career, but even more importantly I have a greater sense of drive to achieve my goals after experiencing what life as an organic farmer is really like.

- Cecilia, former apprentice

“I learned a lot while on the farm. Jamie, Sara Jane and their two children, Alder and Will, were always so sweet and thoughtful. I enjoyed my time there and loved getting to know these incredible people. As expected, sometimes farm work can be rather challenging but Sara Jane and Jamie did all they could to make sure we were comfortable and happy. They are also excellent communicators.”

- Mae, former apprentice

“As highly as I can, I recommend the quality of the education, community, and inspiration at A Way of Life Farm. My apprenticeship with A Way of Life prepared me to go from very little formal farming experience, to the job I have now: running a farm with a 180-member sliding-scale CSA. A Way of Life farmers, Sara Jane and Jamie Davis, dedicate themselves to educating their apprentices. I've never seen a farm achieve such a balance between maintaining financial stability while also continuing to deepen ecological practices -- from no-till and other soil-building techniques to perennial fruit and nut cultivation, to woodland-raised pigs, and much more. I've also never seen farmers so dedicated to helping their apprenticeships learn -- rather than just carry out manual labor. Sara Jane and Jamie continuously shared their ever-increasing knowledge and experience: through mini "lectures" in the field, budgeting and goal-setting talks, making sure apprentices got to try out almost every aspect of farm management, and sharing their extensive library of farming resources. Even after I moved on to start my own farm, Sara Jane and Jamie have continued to answer my ongoing questions and help me think through farming challenges that come up. They've become resources -- and friends -- for the long-term. Then there's the farming community that A Way of Life Farm helps create. Though of course the farm isn't as close to big cities like Asheville, the local farming community is strong, vibrant, and fun, in and of itself. Being a part of that community for a season added so much richness to my apprenticeship experience. Neighbor farmers gathered regularly to share meals and advice, to market products together, and even to help each others' farm projects with work parties. Nearby Morganton is also a growing hub of a local food, with chefs, brewers, and farmers collaborating. As much as I learned technical farming skills, I also learned about the power of building a supportive farming community. More than anything, Sara Jane and Jamie taught me that it's possible to build a financial sound livelihood by farming, while also living up to a vision and caring for community and land. My apprenticeship gave me both the hard skills and the inspiration to farm in a way that is both idealistic and realistic. I fully recommend this apprenticeship. I'm happy to be a resource for anyone thinking of applying.”

- Julia, former apprentice (julia.b.sendor@gmail.com)


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