Contributor Spotlight: Sarah B. Gilliam

Hilltown is a small community in the unincorporated town of Santa Fe, Tennessee (it’s pronounced “Santa Fee”). There are only three signs when you enter the neighborhood: one reads HILL TOWN with an arrow, one is for the Hilltown Church of Christ, and the last points toward the Maury County Coon Hunters Club.

We adopted the Hilltown name for our own farm when we moved here in 2016. We came here to simplify our life. That is to say, to shift our focus from meetings and clubs and practices to gardening, building, and creating on our land together.

To us, Hilltown is a place to experience something together. Something that takes time, patience, practice. Last year, we decided to start sharing this with others by offering workshops that incorporate those ideas. You can take experience-based classes like Axe Camp, Dendrology 101 (a.k.a. tree ID-ing), and Darkroom Photography, all of which are designed to be thoughtful, unplugged, and focused.

In addition to our workshops, we have chickens, keep bees, grow two acres of native wildflowers to sell at the local farmer’s market in Leiper’s Fork, and offer firewood and cooking wood.  

Over the past two years, we’ve found an incredible community. There is a multigenerational, diverse group of people whom we call on when we need help, have questions about farming, or need produce. Each week, we gather about a mile and a half down the road in Fly—another Santa Fe community similar to Hilltown. We have affectionately called this “neighbor night” with our “farmily.” Moving to Hilltown has given us space to play with our kids, try our ideas, and be part of a community. We are living our dream.

—Sarah B.

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