This farm, formally known as Green Hill Farm, was purchased in 1947 by Emerson Fairfax Harmon. Previously sharecroppers, this farm was the first time the family farmed land that they owned. It was originally purchased as three parcels that were combined by Fairfax at a later date to become what was widely known in the community and beyond as Harmon Dairy. The farm has every type of terrain from steep banks, creeks, springs, flat crop land, forested sections and rolling hills. It is the one of largest farms in Polk County that remains in working agriculture.
The family started off milking cows by hand, then in a stanchion barn. In the mid-80's, a modern pipeline system with a single four side open parlor was built which is the parlor we still milk in today. Two of Emerson's sons, Doug & Al
Harmon, continued the dairy and farming the family land. In 2013, the Harmons put the farm under an agricultural conservation easement protecting it from development.
Unknowingly on an intersecting course, the Perkins started Looking Glass Creamery in 2009 processing 50 gallons of milk a week in a creamery they built next to their small log cabin in Fairview. The business grew with support from Asheville restaurants and an unexpected contract with Williams-Sonoma that featured a collection of their cheeses for years that they drop shipped to customers around the country from their tiny cheesemaking operation in the Appalachians. In 2013 they added a Cheese Shop to their small creamery and began welcoming the public for retail
sales and eventually wine & cheese boards. As their production increased they added another cow dairy to their list of suppliers, that dairy was Harmon Dairy.
By 2016, the business had outgrown their small confines in Fairview and needed more production space and a reliable, quality milk supply. After a year of negotiation, the farm was purchased in 2017. Construction began immediately on a new creamery. Cheese Production moved down to the farm in August of 2018 and construction began on the Farm Store which opened in late 2019. We all know the bumpy ride that came after that, but Looking Glass Creamery survived the pandemic. Dairy Farming continues on this farm 75 years (and counting) after it started.