Seven Oaks Farm is a one-acre Certified Naturally Grown produce farm nestled among the rolling pastures and native oak woodlands of Sunshine here in Rutherford County. They lease the land from Belflower Farm, who raises grass-fed beef and lamb on 80 acres of pasture. Seven Oaks Farm uses low-till, no-spray practices to build soil health, encourage biodiversity, and grow delicious nutrient-dense food year-round in their fields and unheated caterpillar tunnels.
Seven Oaks Farm is owned and operated by Erica Fernbach and Karl Brandstaetter. Erica has a degree in crop and soil science from Eastern Oregon University and a lifelong obsession with where food comes from. She has 10 years of experience working on small-scale vegetable farms. Karl’s interest in agriculture began while he was learning about the effects of soil erosion on aquatic ecosystems at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, which led him to work two seasons on an organic no-till farm. The pair met while working on neighboring farms in Western North Carolina, and after a couple of years of learning about growing in this climate, they teamed up to start Seven Oaks Farm.
Owning a farm business and selling produce in Rutherford County has given Karl and Erica an increased sense of connection within their community. They appreciate the opportunity that selling at the Rutherford County Farmers Market has given them to regularly interact with customers and support other local farmers and artisans.
Seven Oaks Farm brings seasonal produce to the Rutherford County Farmers Market year-round, including lettuce, radishes, carrots, spinach, kale, strawberries, tomatoes, okra, sweet peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, herbs, sweet potatoes, collards, turnips, and beets.
Everything Seven Oaks Farm grows is sold locally, which allows their team to focus on growing the best and most flavorful varieties, not just the ones that hold up the best to shipping. Not only are the varieties of crops they sell different from big box store produce, so are their methods.
Much of the produce available at a big box store is grown using highly mechanized and input-heavy practices which result in lackluster vegetables riddled with toxins. Their farm’s produce is grown in healthy, living soil and is NEVER sprayed with pesticides, resulting in vibrant vegetables full of vitamins and minerals.