Blame it on the Farmers Only dating website. Jesie West’s first and only click was Matthew Lawrence. Two days later there was a date. Two months later they bought a farm. And four months later they were married.
In 2014, after Jesie and Matthew’s website introduction, the couple bought a 40-acre farm in the north-central Alabama hamlet of Sylacauga and began their business raising chickens and growing fruits and vegetables. That same year, they also renovated the 1930s cottage on the property that Jesie describes as a “farmstead,” a combination of homestead and farm. Their business, Marble Creek Farmstead, which derived its name from the town’s nickname of “The Marble City,” strives to raise wholesome, pesticide-free produce and all-natural meats.
Before they even became a couple, the two shared a common and burgeoning interest in where their food is grown. Matthew’s focus on farming began while getting his master’s in business administration, and he initially started a farm with a couple of friends. At the same time, in a different location and on a smaller scale, Jesie was pursuing her own ways to grow food. “I was planting a little raised bed garden, including a blueberry bush and honey bees,” she says.
A year after purchasing farm, Matthew and Jesie had their first child, Luke, and they hope he will thrive at Marble Creek. “We are driven to create a beautiful environment to raise our children in, while producing the best food we can for ourselves and our community,” says Matthew.
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