CSA Offerings:
Salad Box CSA, Bouquet CSA or Free Choice CSA; visit pigandleaf.com to sign up. Pick-up locations: Columbia Farmersâ€TM Fresh Market (Columbia); 12 South Farmersâ€TM Market (Nashville); Pig & Leaf Farm Store (Summertown) You can spot them from across the way at each of their farmersâ€TM market locations: Pig & Leaf is a standout both in the beauty of its offerings and in its proprietorsâ€TM attitude of well-being. Jen and Cliff Davis are Pig & Leaf producers of craft pork, artisanal vegetables and cut flowers. By the time they purchased their farm in Summertown, Tennessee, 10 years ago, they had accumulated knowledge and best practices through labor on a multitude of farms. They chose to heal a ridge of land that had been “clear-cut and left in shambles.” “Ecology and farming go hand-in-hand for us,” says Cliff. “What we earn and learn we put back into the land.” With a field trip to their farm store, you can experience the value of what the family lives and recommends. Nitrogen-fixing plants and added minerals nurture their soil and create a flavorful advantage for the Pig & Leaf customer. When you turn into their place, the rustle of massive hogs announces companion gardening. Cliff was first interested in hogs as a land-clearing mechanism, but with the guidance of elder mentors Farmer Gray and Farmer Fudge, he has pursued developing a new breed called Appalachia Red. “The resulting meat is perfectly marbled and high in demand,” he says. Cliff and Jen learned that the ability to use permaculture and ecological design is the ticket for the life they want to showcase. He is an ecologist first and farmer second. “Great value lies in critical thinking. We ask ourselves, â€~Where does the animal or plant come from? What is needed for [it] to thrive? And are we willing, with our values, to do what it takes for healthy growth?â€TM” he explains. The couple is best known internationally as owners of Spiral Ridge Permaculture, a consultation/design firm and off-grid learning center. Rainwater collection, water-catch ponds, an edible forest (integrated trees, flowers and crops) and a market garden live in harmony not far from their home. They are in the business of educating people about diversified plantings and the connectivity of our planet. “There is not enough talk about climate, not enough talk about the value of agriculture and how it can be used to restore degraded lands,” he adds. Jen brings in the joyful noise of a flower CSA as another healing measure. They walk lightly around their place, stroking a pruned peach, plum and southern apple close by, pointing to witch hazel, comfrey and elderberry plants yonder, inspired again this season by the thriving oriental persimmon standing tall in the spring wind.