Simple and Sustainable

pureWritten by Jan Walsh//  Photography by Beau Gustafson

Located in Mooresville, Ala., 1818 Farms is named for the year Mooresville was incorporated—one year before Alabama became a state. Here you will find Babydoll Southdown sheep, a Nubian goat, cats, hens, a pot-bellied pig, mini pigs, and two Great Pyrenees guardian dogs. In the adjoining field, lavender and other herbs are grown for use in handmade beauty products and for wreaths and bouquets. The farm grows heirloom produce and flowers for local restaurants and vendors. And farm eggs are sold for local pick up or delivery. 1818 Farms’ bath and beauty products contain some of the farms’ lavender and herbs. These products are all made using 100 percent natural ingredients and are handmade, hand poured, and hand-packaged.

This family-owned and family-run farm sprouted from owner Natasha Cunningham McCray’s middle child, Gamble. He fell in love with the Babydoll Southdown Sheep that he met at a petting farm in 2011. “Owning a Babydoll was all he could talk about,” McCray recalls. “So thinking this would be fun and educational for our family to do together, I began researching where to buy a few lambs to raise as a family project on our land here in Mooresville. And I began to dream my own plans for a small profitable farm where we could teach our children to appreciate the land and animals and to be good conservationists. We also wanted to teach them the importance of being self-sustaining.”

I first discovered 1818 Farms Shea Crème in a small shop in Mountain Brook Village. I was impressed that it only included two ingredients: shea butter and coconut oil. And I was surprised that the shop had discovered them before I did. I bought a jar of 1818 Farms Shea Unscented Crème. Opening the jar at home I saw and felt the gorgeous, velvety, pristine, fluffy cream, and I have not bought another lotion or hand cream since. So I was not surprised to learn that the shea cream is 1818 Farms’ most popular product. It is hand whipped and hand packaged, and available in eight scents of essential oils.

Later I found their cream, soaps, and cuticle balm at the Birmingham Museum of Art’s gift shop. Ditto for both the soap and cuticle balm. I am hooked and buy nothing else. The cuticle balm is a lovely blend of beeswax, olive oil, shea butter, vitamin E, carrot and calendula extract, and lavender essential oil. I have bought much more expensive cuticle creams that never worked like this one. For the first time in my life, fall and winter weather did not bring peeling cuticles. 1818 Farms soaps are cold process soaps, slab cut for a rustic edge in a variety of scents: crisp apple, lemongrass, sweet sandalwood, spring wildflowers, lavender fields, sweet spearmint, gardenia, oatmeal milk and honey, unscented Castile goat’s milk, lilac, and peppermint tea tree. Being sensitive to scents, I love the goat’s milk and oatmeal ones.

It did not take long for my own family to start “borrowing” these products, so they quickly disappeared. Now I order for everyone at

In addition to the shea crème, cuticle balm, and soap, we are all fans of the Clover’s Lip Smack. It softens, lasts, and moisturizes with no waxiness. It is a blend of shea butter, coconut oil, and grape seed oil. My guys love 1818 Farms Shave Oil, which comes in scents of firewood, flannel, and fleece as does the Beard Oil, which softens and manages whiskers by hydrating and moisturizing dry itchy skin beneath beards and facial hair. The Downward Dog Yoga Mat Spray keeps workout areas fresh. And the Counting Sheep leads to a good night’s sleep as a linen spray or air refresher.

Meanwhile, if you ever want to visit the source of all this natural bounty, 1818 Farms is available for special farm-to-table dinners, weddings, tours, children’s birthdays and more. It’s a special place and well worth the trip. •


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