Frequently Asked Questions
Why Southern Maryland? I've always believed in the motto, "bloom where you are planted." Lucky to live in an agriculture wonder in Southern Maryland, I enjoy our preserved land, moderate climate, access to water, and other abundant resources. This is where we were born and raised, and where we enjoy giving back to the community and the land through our farm.
How did you start farming? In a backyard garden. I didn't grow up on a farm. My father spent time teaching me his knowledge from owning a nursery and landscaping business for 25+ years. He and my uncles started growing and selling vegetable and flowers and other plants from their backyard in the 1970's, and their commercial landscape and garden center business. Working in the greenhouses was my first job when I was in middle school. Watering roses and starting seeds in the greenhouse. I loved running through the rows of fresh Christmas trees growing up, and still have nostalgia to the pine smell. My father has always had a garden and over the years I became more involved. My mothers family came to America as French-German immigrant Mennonites, settling in Southern PA as vegetable and grain farmers. Though I didn't grow up on a farm, I guess my love for growing is in my genes.
How did you learn to farm? I am ever indebted to all the wonderful people who have helped me on this path. They are leaders, mentors, and advocates in the Chesapeake region. I learned to farm on a larger scale while working for Sassafras Creek Farm, and also through my time with the Future Harvest CASA Beginning Farmer Training program. Other organizations such as Maryland Farm Bureau, SMADC, and LEAD Maryland Foundation. I plan to pass on my knowledge to the next generation here in Southern Maryland. Before I met most of my mentors, books initially enlightened me to our current complex food system. I became more aware of what I was eating and where it came from. I was fascinated that many of the authors and contributors in these books I was reading were located in the Chesapeake region. But I still had questions. And that ignited the fire to the opportunities to grow (literally) right in my own backyard. I quickly learned that for what I couldn't provide, a patchwork of neighboring farms could. I sought out farmers, and asked them questions directly. I listened a lot and found this to be the best source of information; getting the facts from farmers was the most helpful. Many times that's meant working or volunteering on others farms.
Do you grow organically? Yes. We follow organic practices. I have always known that way, and farming 100ft from the Chesapeake Bay, we feel this is best for our farm, and for the land/water/wildlife that surrounds us. We are big believers in evolving technology, but we are still proponents of growing food and flowers with the least amount of off-farm inputs. This can be challenging, but it's part of our goal to improve soil health, keep our wildlife, and water quality healthy, and nourish our neighbors. There is always more to learn, which is possibly why it is the most challenging- yet exciting career.
Why do you believe in supporting local farming economies? For countless reasons-- for health, the economic benefits it provides, the environmental impact-- we eat the majority of our diet from close to home. Year-round. That's something that takes work, and a lot of time, but we believe is worth it. It hasn't always been this way, but we have also established a stronger, diversified farming community in Southern Maryland in recent years. Every step of the way has been worth it and something I'm really proud of supporting. As for our flowers, most flowers in the US are purchased from outside our country. I am interested in increasing the number of American Grown flowers from our small space in Southern Maryland.
What flowers do you grow and when? Spring season is anemones, ranunculus, tulips, daffodils, followed by sweet peas, poppies, snapdragons and other wild flower style flowers. Summer is peonies, lilies, zinnias, celosia, sunflowers, dianthus. Fall is dahlia and heirloom mum season. We grow over 60 varieties of specialty cut flowers throughout the year.
Do you offer farm visits? We are a small team, and not open to the public. We do offer a few events in the summer months on our farm, and we encourage you to keep an eye out for those if you are interested in learning more and visiting the farm.