About Us

Why do we farm?

Darnell Farms passion for farming sprang from the patriarch, Jeff Darnell’s, passion for land preservation. During the 1970’s in Western North Carolina, there was an interesting boom in land sales for development, while this added population to this rural area, it also took out beautiful and viable farmland, which was already few and far-between in these Southern Appalachia’s. Finding nutrient rich valleys located amongst water was becoming increasingly difficult, as people began building on precious land. Jeff Darnell decided as a young man, that he was going to counteract the booming build for selling off the farmland, and start farming every piece that he could. Today, the Darnell’s farm over 100 acres of precious farmland in Western North Carolina, all while working towards putting their farmland into Agricultural Preservation Programs through Mainspring Conservation Trust- ensuring that the land stays farmland for generations to come.

Our Mission

Our mission is to educate, protect, and influence the preservation and understanding of Appalachian Agriculture in the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina, by making our working farm a memoriable experience for everyone. 

Meet the Darnells

Afton Roberts and her brother Nate Darnell, the older sibling of the dynamic farming duo, now operate Darnell Farms.  Afton is the creative marketer and retail operations manager who plans the many farm events throughout the year.
Nate, also known as “Nate the Farmer”, is the hand-ons man of Darnell Farms. For his entire life, Nate has been one of the main farmers.

Together they are providing thousands of visitors and buyers an opportunity to see the best of family farming.