About Serenbe Farms
Serenbe Farms is a small diversified certified organic farm located in the Serenbe community and surrounded by the rural oasis of the Chattahoochee Hill Country, just 30 miles southwest of Atlanta. The farm began in 2004, and now in its 11th growing season. We cultivate 8 acres of farm-land and are in the process of nurturing and restoring soil on an additional 10 acres. We have produced over 300 varieties of heirloom and hybrid vegetables, herbs and flowers, and we harvest over 60,000 lbs of produce a year.
We market our goods through our Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA), farmers markets and to many talented chefs in Serenbe and Atlanta.
We grow the future generation of farmers through our extensive offering of classes for adults and children, as well as our Apprenticeship program.
Guided by our desire to enrich quality of life, Serenbe Farms operates within this three-part mission to provide nourishing food for our local and greater community, offer meaningful hands on education for all generations, and build community through food and farming.
Our Farming Practices
Because we believe in the health of our environment, our bodies, and our soils, we choose to grow organically, paying close attention to natural systems that aid in our production. We were first certified in 2004 by Quality Certification Services (QCS) and continue to renew our certification each year.
Our farm, like many in the South, was used for commodity cotton farming decades ago. Our red clay subsoil is now the foundation for our agriculture today. Luckily with lots of love and organic matter, our soil is now full of life.
In addition to focusing on the biology and life of our soils, we pay attention to the balance of our nutrients and the mineral content. The health of our plants comes from the health of our soil. To enrich our soil, we pay attention to all of the trace minerals.
Three organic methods that we live by include: composting, cover cropping, and crop rotation…the three C’s.
Compost is made at the farm from the vegetable scraps of our own community members and restaurants
Cover cropping is the practice of growing rich green grasses and legumes for incorporation of organic matter back into the soil.
And crop rotation with vegetables and cover crops. We rotate crops to disrupt the disease and pest cycle and to ensure that we’re not depleting the same nutrients year after year.
While soil is king on the farm, we also steward our land by utilizing drip irrigation and mulches to minimize our water usage and apply conservation tillage across the farm.
Matthew Clayton & Kali FoleyFarm Managers
Matthew is a 5th generation vegetable farmer, originally from Madison, WI. His grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and sisters can all be found working the earth at their prospective farms around the country. He is excited to be bringing his personal experience and the resource of generations of familial farming wisdom to Serenbe Farms.
Horticulture and farming are his passions. He was a certified arborist in MT, a farm owner in the "Organic Valley" of Wisconsin , an orchard manager and most recently manager of a small organic farm in Chattahoochee Hills, on land adjacent to Serenbe.
Kali is a former Doctoral Candidate with a Bachelors in Neuroscience, and an obsession with organic food and the organic philosophy. She has been farming side by side with Matt for the past 5 years, and loves the creative aspect of designing a farm plan each year. Kali is the Operations Manager, CSA Manager and Tour Guide when she is not in the field.
Matt and Kali have two (under two!) children. Those rare days when they are not at the farm, you will find, or won't find, the farmer family playing and exploring in the woods, their other favorite place.
Chrissie PlewField Manager
Current Farm Apprentices
Paige DuckworthApprentice February 2018- Present
Paige graduated from Kennesaw State University in May of 2017 with a degree in Culinary, Sustainability, and Hospitality. Her passions include good food, good beer, and traveling. In her spare time she enjoys learning about other cultures, DIY projects, and exploring places she hasn't yet visited. Paige's love of farming began developing in the summer of 2016 through an Organic Agriculture and Beginning Apiary Studies class. Since then she has been given the opportunity to work on and volunteer at a number of farms. In the future, Paige would like to live on a homestead.
Sarah RuckerApprentice February 2018- Present
I'm a recent graduate from the University of Georgia where I studied journalism and horticulture. I fell in love with farming while working with Athens Land Trust to educate the community on sustainable and local food production. I then took my love of farming to Portland, Oregon, where I worked with a two-acre, urban flower and vegetable farm. Now, I return to my hometown and have the great privilege to work here at Serenbe Farms. Farming inspires and humbles me when I see how my hard work nourishes so many people in my community. I'm excited to get to do that here in Serenbe!
Lance GebelApprentice February 2018- Present
I am a current graduate from George Mason University which is in northern Virginia, just outside of D.C., in Fairfax. I majored in Biology but was not highly motivated to go the typical science route and decided to pick up a minor in nutrition which is when I found my true passion. I saw then that my interest in the sciences were through nutrition and I started to apply the skills and knowledge that I learned from my major into my minor. My goal one day is to have a farm of my own where I can teach my community, or group of interested individuals, about the benefits of sourcing your food from local and sustainable sources. Through farming I want to learn more about what is needed to provide people with the freshest and most nutritious foods to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. I worry about the overall health of the population and plan to work on how to make fresh and healthy foods not only available for everyone but also accessible. Some of my personal hobbies are running, swimming, hiking, kettlebelling, surfing, yoga and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I enjoy living in an intention community where people are free to share ideas and opinions on how to better the community. I find that I do my best work when living with a like-minded community where I feel comfortable to share my ideas and experiences. Being part of a community that is working towards a common goal has allowed for me to do some of the best work and has brought me here to Serenbe.