About Four Corners Farm
Why “Family-Friendly Farming”?
The decision to buy a farm and begin a lifestyle that seeks to honor the land, was a full family choice. Carolyn’s parents, Dave & Betty Werner, are passionate, behind the scenes helpers and supporters of the family farm dream. Without their encouragement and financial kick start, Four Corners Farm wouldn’t be where it is today.
Living and working on the land, seeking to renew and bring deeper health to the soil that surrounds us, is our passion. As a multi-generational family farm, our time together varies from cooking, marketing, processing chickens, selling at markets to planning, brain-storming, reading and just plain having fun! Working all together for a common goal has been a sacred endeavor – and we continue to learn – from each other and from those in the community.
A Little Bit of History…
Ian and Carolyn Reilly
In 2008, Ian and I (Carolyn) read a book by Dr. Matthew Sleeth which helped us discover the mass industrialization of our food system, as well as the sad state of consumerism in America. Making changes in our family’s purchases became more and more of a priority… working to simplify, reduce our carbon footprint, and only taking in what is truly nourishing and whole. We also uncovered further the state of industrialized food, the lack of nutritional value, and care for farmers and workers of the U.S. food system.
Locally raised or grown, real food was our new norm. And in 2009, after watching the documentary film “Food, Inc.” we felt a seed being deeply planted within our souls. When digging a little deeper in the food economy, we began reading books by farmers who encouraged local food systems and farming as a true career choice. A book entitled “Family Friendly Farming” by Joel Salatin, became the inspiring roots stretching and expanding in our hearts… the green shoot sprouted and the idea spilled forth: Let’s go and be a part of the food revolution and farm!
In 2010, we began our search for a farm. Living in Florida most our lives, we were open to a change of scenery. After ruling out various southeastern states, southwestern Virginia was beckoning. Many homesteads and farms were viewed and by October, we had found our future farm and home in Rocky Mount, VA. We moved to our farm home in December and by the Spring of 2011, we began living the dream raising pastured poultry, including laying hens, broilers, and turkeys.
As we enter our sixth season, we look forward to the many joys and opportunities to learn and grow in the year ahead of us.
Dave and Betty Werner
Why would anyone who had lived in FL for 30 years, retire there, and then move north to live on a farm? That’s what we did with our daughter, Carolyn, and son-in-law, Ian, in order to be a part of fulfilling the dream of a sustainable, simpler life. Our life in Florida was comfortable. We were well connected in the community and involved in many activities. Betty had retired from a mathematics teaching career a few years earlier while caring for her elderly mother who lived with us. I (Dave) enjoyed my commercial banking career with a local community bank. Carolyn and Ian shared their vision of living on a farm, striving to make a difference in a local food economy, to raise their children close to nature, to sustain themselves on what the farm would produce, and to care for God’s creation around them.
We soon realized that this dream could be beautifully supported by us and we were willing and ready to sacrifice and share in our retirement savings in order to help make this dream a reality. Together, we have made decisions along the way, largely, moving and leaving behind our comfort and security in Florida … transitioning to four generations of family in one home. We all were under the same roof by June 2011 and the Reilly’s were already in full swing of raising pastured poultry. The 2011 growing season was a wonderful time of learning and growing for us all. We enjoyed meeting new friends and customers, sharing our vision and dream as we traversed through the seasons.
On March 1st of 2012, we experienced the sad loss of Betty’s mom—Marion “Dee Dee” Beaver—but we’re heartened by the fact that she enjoyed the farm, living with her great grandchildren, and that she passed painlessly and suddenly at age 91.
We are thankful and amazed that all has come together and that we continue to learn, grow, share, and experience God’s creation here at Four Corners Farm.