Borrowing from the past, creating a Farm-topia in the present

Borrowing from the past, creating a Farm-topia in the present
Davis and Meyer

There’s a place that exists in the world where life slows down, time stands still and a unique community has blossomed into existence. About an hour from town, up in Folkston, Georgia, outside of the bustle of our modern cityscapes, a community is transforming from timber lands into a dreamscape of intentional, abundant living.

A utopian village of limited, low-impact, phased development has been propagated within the landscape, where distractions melt away and life as we know it takes on a different tempo…and that’s the point. This place has been coined as The Farm at Okefenokee, and its founding and subsequent metamorphosis is drawing quite a bit of attention from those seeking a break from the ordinary, where the term “cookie-cutter” is akin to a dirty, unthinkable phrase.

“The Farm”, as it is often referred to by its founders, is located on 700-plus acres of land adjacent to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The transformed lands of today are every bit as mystical as they are spellbinding with an abundance of wildlife intermingled with man-made gardens of both wild and native flowers, catfish ponds, roaming cattle, hogs, and hybrid draft mules alongside vegetation. From fruit trees to olive groves, sugar cane, turmeric root and a greenhouse full of micro greens, the place is teeming with life.

mule with windmill in background

Regeneration of the spirit, living in abundance

The pinnacle of the project is the premise of regenerative farming, where all things thrive on the goal to return the soil to a state of healthy, biodiverse elements that provide energy, nutrition and abundant crop growth. Void of herbicides and pesticides, the cultivation of crops for the community to thrive upon are the backbone of the farm, not to mention, things simply taste better and offer more nutrient value than anything you’ll find in a grocery store.

The Farm’s incorporation of a breeding program will also celebrate heritage species of hogs, sheep, cattle, turkeys, catfish and other non-GMO animals and aquatic species. Many of those chosen for the project thrive in Southern climates and are intentionally selected to protect the future genetic stock of forgotten breeds that were originally brought to the new world by French and Spanish explorers.

Getting there, head to the headwaters of the Suwanee and St. Mary’s

The entrance to the property sits just off the main artery, Doc Rider Road, of the 400,000-plus acres of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, where coincidentally, 400,000 annual visitors from around the world flock to visit one of the nation’s largest wetland preserves. Decades in the making, the refuge has been proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a year away from the moniker. The Okefenokee or “Land of the Trembling Earth” was given the name by the Swift Creek and Weeden Island tribes, due to its shifting peat and silted wetland “prairies”, cypress forests, scrub-shrub vegetation, upland islands and open lakes.

Stay a while, live the dream

Living on the farm offers a curated lifestyle and diversion from today’s overabundance of pavement, mobile phones, mowers and traffic that desensitize the natural state of our human experience. Not only do you leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind, but you can also live in a place where health, happiness and wealth of the spirit flourish. It is a side-effect of living well and curating ideas that enrich our lived experience.

heifer and calf

Good things come to those who wait

This rare community has been developing over the course of the last several years and is quicky taking shape. Visionaries and partners in the venture, Jeff Meyer and Doug Davis, have been pouring their lives into this dream; one that has been consciously master-planned and executed by a unique team of talented gardeners, farmers, illustrators, photographers, carpenters, and builders of men alike.

Ahead of their time, Meyer and Davis are entrenched in the belief that a return to nature and simplicity will energize lessons as old as creation. The Native American proverb teaches: Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.

 “I’ve been developing low-impact, sustainable communities for many years, it’s my passion,” said Davis. Davis has testified before Congress about sustainable, future development due to his level of expertise in the field and knowledge of the dynamics of water, landscapes and resiliency. “My dream is to implement the best practices of development, while procuring a lifestyle second to none. As far as we know, this has never been done before and we’re enjoying the ride.”

“The goal all along was to find folks that enjoy the idea of farming, without the hassle of owning and working a farm,” said Meyer. “We [the Farm] offer a product that affords a lifestyle that you can’t find anywhere in the country, better yet, in the world,” he said with a smile. Meyer believes that by creating a place where healthy food is abundant, heritage animals roam and the nectar of life is provided by the experience – not simply by flowers and honeybees – the community will thrive.

flowers and bees

With the spirit of the outdoors running wild and a twist of elegance in its offerings, its amenities cater to a life well lived. The founding pair, both of whom are rugged individualists, would rather be likened to inventors, family men and thought leaders who are simply harnessing the power of regeneration, rebirth and hearkening back to the ancient practices that call to us from our ancestors.

For more information, visit to gain a bird’s eye view of the project.

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