McLeod’s Table Farm has a rich history and has been in the same family since 1777. It all started when a Scottish immigrant, Archibald Ray, purchased the King’s Grant from a man with the last name of Wadsworth. Archie Ray lived and worked on the farm and built the barn in the picture below which still stands. Archie Ray had four daughters and divided his land equally among the four. Many of his descendants in the community still live on land which Archie Ray once held.
One of Archie Ray’s daughters married Hugh McDonald and they farmed the land which is now McLeod’s Table Farm. Hugh McDonald’s son, Allen C. McDonald, inherited the land and worked the farm in the mid 1800s. Allen C. McDonald was very notable in the community and donated the land for a school which is now Sandhills Farm Life Elementary School.
Allen C. McDonald’s daughter, Margaret Union, married John A. McLeod and they lived on the farm and raised nine children in a house built in 1887 that is still a residence on the farm. One of their sons, Cary Lee McLeod, Sr. became the owner in the early 1900s. Cary Lee and his wife Rozella McCallum McLeod, who was a school teacher in Moore County for more than 40 years, raised four children on the place.
Cary Lee McLeod, Jr. became the owner and farmer of the land in the mid-1900s. Cary, Jr. was well-known in Moore County and served as president of the Moore County Farm Bureau. He was a graduate of NC State University in Agronomy and raised tobacco, soybeans, and small grains until the mid-1970s. Due to the farm economy of the time, Cary, Jr. decided that he needed to transition the operation to produce and truck farming. Although the term “local foods” had not been coined, Cary, Jr. was ahead of his time and operated what was known as “The Garden” which supplied fresh produce and pick your own vegetables and fruit to the local community.
Cary, Jr. passed in 2008 and left the farm to his nephew Alexander McLeod “Sandy” Stewart and his wife Carol. Sandy graduated from NC State with degrees in Agronomy and Crop Science and was working as Extension Cotton Specialist for Louisiana State University at the time. In 2010, Sandy and Carol moved back to McLeod’s Table Farm and began to revitalize the operation while working full time for NC State University. They continue to work full time off the farm (Sandy in agricultural research and Carol in deaf education) and operate the farm in the spare time. They raise blueberries, produce, wheat, soybeans, and other crops at McLeod’s Table Farm. Sandy and Carol have three small children and live on the farm with Sandy’s mother, Sarah Margaret McLeod Stewart. They are the 7th and 6th generation, respectively, to call this little slice of heaven in Moore County home.