About Us

Our Past

Foothills Farm was established in 2001 with the clearing of the forest to create the beautiful pastures you see today. The farmhouse and stables were built in 2005, and Marla ran a successful equestrian breeding and training facility until deciding to lease the property and move west. The farm was operated throughout the years as an equestrian training and boarding establishment by the former tenants.


Our Present

Upon Marla’s return in 2019, Foothills Farm is continuing with the equestrian traditions, while evolving to create a permaculture hub! Our vision is to move forward in balance with nature, sharing our bounties, the land, and our farm experience with community.

Marla and team are building more gardening space, orchards, vineyards, with much more to come. We are connecting through study and emulation of balance and harmony that is exhibited in nature.

We extend our welcome invitation to you through our listings with AirBnB, HipCamp, and Swell Stables to make plans with us or just drop by and meet us. Possibly you will find a place to grow something here, or nuture, develop, explore, educate, meditate, correspond, heal, connect, and collaborate for soltions with like-minded individuals on this sacred ground, nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

Pioneering Our Future

We will offer education in permaculture through a hands on environment. We are building a sustainable, autonomous community offering a refuge from life in the city. We will be offering investments in yurts, cabins, tiny houses, and other free energy structures. We will welcome the future with options in banking, finance, and bartering as we grow, sell, and share food and products from within our local farmers network. We are here to develop and share it all with you. We are pioneering our future through balance, harmony, and purposefulness via our hospitality in accommodations, the growing and sharing of organic foods, and other natural products, all made with our local hands

Our People


 Meet some of the people who are working together to bring Foothills Farm’s vision to life

Marla Cooley

Marla is a mother of three, grandmother of five, entrepreneur, horse breeder and trainer, lifetime student of animal husbandry, farmer, warrior for human rights, animal advocate, and water protector. From her vantage point of six decades worth of adventure, the constant theme in her life is her love of horses, having worked with them for most of her life.

Marla’s broad range of life and work experience includes opening and operating two food service establishments in Gainesville, Georgia in the 1990s. Eager to take on the challenges ahead, Marla will use her passion, can-do attitude, and vigor to make Foothills Farm a success.

Kaleb Awtrey and Sarah Roberts

 We are the farm hosts of Foothills Farm! Together, we manage and provide general maintenance of this organic farm, as well as oversee day-to-day activities. We also provide camper rentals for anyone wanting to either stay on the farm or go on their own adventure. Our vision is to grow this place as a community and hospitality farmstead, while offering more unique stays on this beautiful land.


Kate Lavail

Our barn manager, Kate LaVail, has 20+ years of experience managing professional broodmare, yearling, three-day and dressage barns in California, Maryland and Georgia. Her lifelong love of horses led to a collegiate equestrian scholarship, but also taught her that she was more interested in caring for horses than competing. After having children, she found that natural horsemanship work allowed her to focus on connecting with her horse, herself, family and friends.

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