New Beginnings Farm features good health
(Editor’s note: The annual Rutherford and Polk counties’ farm tour is being staged virtually online this year. Farms can be visited weekly at facebook.com/ncfoothillsfarmtour/)
Stroll around Sheri and John Crenshaw’s New Beginnings Farm and you begin to see that it is an outdoor education center, a place where you can learn about the value of eating healthy food while soaking up the rich history of Rutherford County.
From their heritage breed Highland cattle and Nubian dairy goats to their 1910 farmhouse, history and good health are intertwined.
The New Beginnings farmhouse in Rutherfordton was built by Gilford Nanny, a noted craftsman who constructed several such homes in the region for the wealthy. He also is noted for building the stairway leading to the top of Chimney Rock. The Crenshaw place was built for Dr. Rucker, who also maintained his medical practice there. Coming full circle to today, both Sheri and John have healthcare backgrounds. Sheri has been a nurse for 27 years and John a paramedic for 30 years.
“Healthcare and healing are very important to us as we have seen a lot over the years in our fields,” Sheri said. “We believe our health all goes back to the food we put in our bodies.”
Food such as the blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries they grow and the honey produced in their apiary. Their fruit is never sprayed with chemicals, thus protecting not only consumers but honeybees.
Making that kind of natural commitment ratchets up the workload for the farmers because it challenges them to come up with natural solutions to dealing with the pesky bugs that want to eat your food. Sheri says, “that is the biggest challenge.”
But that is only one of the challenges they face.
Their cows and goats, which visitors to the farm love to interact with, require daily tending as do their medicinal plants.
“Over the years, I have learned a lot about herbs and alternative options for health,” Sheri explains. She grows several medicinal plants each year and makes tinctures and extracts from them.
And when she isn’t doing that, she makes natural soap from the milk produced by their Nubian dairy goats.
The farm, located off U.S. 64 and Highway 74A, is not only an outdoor classroom where visitors can learn how food and natural products are made and the job every animals has, but also a wedding venue with a backdrop of expansive hilltop vistas and warm and inviting structures from the old homestead and its magnificent old barn to a octagon corn crib converted to a barn.
What’s next for the Crenshaws and your good health?
After you take a tour of the farm, you can get in some yoga led by Sheri because it’s good for your health. “Most people live fast-paced lives these days. Go, go, go, always trying to find that balance. Yoga…allows time for your body, mind and spirit to restore,” she said.