Sunny Side: ‘By Faith Farm’ Grows Food for Poor

By Nancy Flory Published on July 6, 2024

Fifteen miles outside of Nashville, Tennessee, there’s a farm that grows organic produce and donates it to those in the surrounding area who need it most.

By Faith Farm — owned by Dr. Jim Birckhead, a retired dentist, and his wife, Lori — is really a miracle. And it all started with a dream.

A Vision in the Night

In 2007, Lori had a very vivid dream about pastures, ponds, and green plants in which she told The Stream she heard a voice tell her to buy land, grow food, and give it away. She woke Jim up to tell him about it.

“Go back to sleep,” he told her.

But the dream kept repeating itself, night after night. “I knew it was God sending me the dream,” she writes on the farm’s website.

So the Birckheads began looking for property — but arguing with the Lord along the way.

“I told God, ‘You have the wrong person. We know nothing about farming. We will botch this job terribly,’” writes Lori. “I could hear God say, ‘Yes, if it was just up to you, you would.'”

Following in Faith

So the Birckheads prayed that God would guide them to the right property and send people who could help with the mission He was giving them.

Lori never saw herself as a farmer. “Throughout this adventure I have continued to test God by saying, ‘Are You sure? If this is really what You want us to do, then please show us we are on the right path.'”

Four years after Lori’s initial dream, the Birckheads bought a farm in Joelton, Tennessee. The 97 acres was much more property than they had been looking or planning for — but the sellers’ bottom-line price was the exact one Lori said God had previously told her to offer. And the sellers accepted.

Since 2011, the Birckheads have donated 182,000 pounds of produce to local food banks — 24,000 of it this year alone. Over the last 13 years, hundreds of volunteers have logged 125,000 hours total helping on the farm.

“[The farm] was entrusted to us for a time,” Lori told The Stream, “to be a blessing to as many people as possible.”

By Faith Farm was featured in a short video by a social media content producer KARAXLEWIS, who happened upon Lori at a tractor store. Watch it here:


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A post shared by KARA ∥ LEWIS 🎬💡 (@karaxlewis)


Nancy Flory, Ph.D., is a senior editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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