Ivy Creek Family Farm
Ivy Creek Family Farm was born 12 years ago when a neighbor of Anna and Paul Littman’s offered them a quarter of an acre to borrow for a garden. Loving to grow any and all plants, they quickly and easily filled the soil with greens, tomatoes, flowers, and more. The plants responded to their care, and weekly harvests far exceeded their needs. Green beans spilled from harvest containers, and tomatoes filled every bin and countertop in sight. One week brought a harvest of two hundred heads of lettuce.
Both Anna and Paul were working full time, Anna as the founding executive director of Arts For Life and Paul as a formally trained landscape architect and construction project manager. Without a plan for what to do with the great bounty, they began handing out produce to anyone who passed by. A friend suggested they start a Saturday morning farm stand in a near-by barn. With handmade signs as their only advertising, they sold out of their produce in two hours each week. But most importantly, they saw the important place farms and farm stands hold in the community. The weekly gathering gave neighbors a place to connect. It provided access to fresh healthy food to elderly who weren’t able to drive to markets in town. Originating from that farm stand and quarter of an acre of borrowed land, the dream of a larger farm was born.
Today, Ivy Creek Family Farm operates from a 38-acre piece of land, 25 minutes north of Asheville. Anna, Paul, and their staff of four intensely farm eight of those acres to grow vegetables, flowers, fruit and shiitake mushrooms using ecologically sound and organic practices. Ivy Creek sells produce to restaurants, at two tailgate markets, to CSA members, and at the on-sight farm stand. During the height of the season they work six days a week to keep plants healthy and happy.
With help from dozens of dedicated apprentices and staff the farm has become an important part of the Barnardsville community and the community of food enthusiasts in Asheville. Several times a year Ivy Creek provides tours to chefs who buy their produce. On these culinary tours, chefs take inspiration from the tomatoes growing in the hoop houses, from the herbs that have gone to flower, and from the baby turnips, crisp and perfect. Ivy Creek stocks their farm stand daily. Neighbors say that they don’t plan their meals until they stop at the farm’s refrigerator to see what's fresh. Ivy Creek donates hundreds of pounds of produce to those in need annually. Farm scraps go to Ivy Creek’s farm animals as well as neighboring farm’s animals. Nothing goes to waste.
Anna and Paul and their staff have restored a piece of land to bring fresh produce and authentic experiences to their community. Find them at the North Asheville Tailgate Market or Weaverville Tailgate Market or visit one of their partnering restaurants to taste the difference intention, care, and love make in fresh vegetables.
Ivy Creek Employment
Join Our Team
Ivy Creek Family Farm seeks one lead farmer to join our 2022 team. Applicants should have one or more years of experience working on a diversified vegetable farm and be comfortable working long hours outdoors. Compensation and job description are dependent on experience, ranging from $1,000-$1,800/month with housing on the farm or an additional housing stipend. Lead farmers will take on leadership of specific aspects of the farm such as hoop house production, harvests, cultivation, etc. To apply, email a resume to email@example.com. Positions start in March. For more information on additional openings go to Ivy Creek's page on Attra.
It Takes a Village
At Ivy Creek volunteers are an important part of the farm. Volunteers bring their interests, enthusiasm, and skills to the team. We welcome community volunteers on a weekly basis, usually on Thursdays. They do everything from seeding in the propagation house to harvesting in the field. We send them volunteers home with loads of gratitude and with boxes of produce.