The Cayton Family
Let's get to know the people here on Cranberry Acre.
I am Arwen Cayton, the mother of two wonderful children (Wyatt and Ayla Cayton), and the wife to an amazing husband, (Wayne Cayton).
I had a vision of starting a business with the things I created and the things I grew. What started out as a small hobby has bloomed into this new adventure in my life.
Now it is a family affair and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My husband (Wayne Cayton), and I are both Army Veterans.
You will see in a lot of our pictures showing, that we are very proud to have served our Country. We live and breathe this everyday of our lives, it helped strengthen who we are today. My husband was an All Wheel Mechanic and I was an Animal Technician. With the knowledge we gained from the Army, we have been able to use it here on Cranberry Acre.
I was raised in a small town in Upstate NY, named Stamford. My family lived on the remains of an old dairy farm, where I learned to do the things I do today. Now my husband was raised near Daytona FL, no farms, no slow days. In short we came from very different backgrounds, but have learned to appreciate the differences and use them for our advantages here on the farm. When I left the farm, I had no intensions of going back to that way of living. I didn’t appreciate what I had until I had the opportunity to try it again. My husband and I left the Army and started our family in Texas, but we were not destined to live there. My father had received the news that he was dying from cancer so, we sold the house in Texas and came to Virginia. I was back in the mountains and after my father passed, we realized we could offer our children a different life here than what we were living in Texas. I was able to stay home and raise our children here, we had a chance to live a simpler life. Just down the road from where we were renting, was the house that we would turn into Cranberry Acre.
Now we just didn’t decide we were going to create a working one acre farm, it just kind of morphed into it.
We first started with the 1/8th of an acre garden, which only lasted that year. Next year we halved it and added two Nigerian Pygmy goats to the farm, which we still have today, Bella and Sparkles. This started the madness of the one acre farm. We now had livestock.
Then came the chickens!
It was official a farm had started and we didn’t ever really intend on doing this, but here we are.
Why are we doing this? Well it became very necessary to teach my children, after my father died, how I was raised. We lived in an area of the Blue Ridge, that embraced the way I was raised and I wanted to share this with them. You don’t get many opportunities to do this in life I wanted to make sure we didn’t miss our chance. I wanted to grow our own food, raise animals and preserve what we had grown. I wanted to make things again, sewing and creating became a necessity really, almost a healing process. I started going to the local Farmer’s Market with our produce and then started to introduce my sewing to the public, people loved it. I then decided that maybe, just maybe, we could make a business out of our little farm. Every year I teach myself a new trade or art and in doing this I have a new product to introduce to the public. Our goal is to get everything settled here so we can open Cranberry Acre to the public. We want to teach people how to farm one acre or less, to make things with their hands and teach some of these dying arts I’ve learned over the years from some amazing people here in the mountains.
Our old 2 story shed became our barn. It sits in the center of our property and we didn’t know that it was going to change our lives forever. It became the home to our goats and chickens. Then it became the inspiration for the logo of our business. Don’t know if you could love a building, but I think I do, because it brings a smile to my face every time I look at it.
The things we create here are One of a Kind pieces of art that you can use, where some are revisioned items. Hence our saying, “Revisioned-Operative-Art”. A lot of care goes into the making of each item. There is a sense of old, with new in our items. My love for history I think influences a lot of our work we do here, making them feel almost like a memory. My sewing also reflects my love for the past. Some styles will remind you of the 1900’s and some will be of the early 20th Century. Each item is a unique piece of art, that calls out to that special someone and I love that about what we do.
All of us work here on Cranberry Acre.
I have been sewing and creating things for this farm since we got here. Some of the items were things out of necessity and others just because I wanted to see if I could make it. My daughter Ayla, is baking and now wanting to learn to sew. She has always worked out in the garden with me and her way with animals, is amazing. My son Wyatt, is starting to like working with metal. He hopes soon to be welding and helping his father Wayne, in the Blacksmith shop.
This is our story here on Cranberry Acre. Please look around our website and if you are in the area, please stop by Cranberry Acre. The new Studio and Store will hopefully be open by the end of Summer 2017, we would love to see you.