It all began when…
I am often asked if I grew up on a farm. Heavens no! However, I do remember as a young child daydreaming of living on a farm. Even as a young adult, riding on trains, something about the passing farmsteads was intensely attracting. I longed for that life. Nope, I’m a city slicker that had some interest in horses and gardening. That’s where it started I suppose. My suburban vegetable garden seemed to not be getting pollinated very well. I went to "bee school" to learn how to attract and keep bees. About this time we started looking at properties. My mother, a long-time supporter of land conservancy and a wonderful landscape and wildlife photographer, purchased the Laurel Hill property in 2008. We moved out into the woods soon after and began a beehive and blazed footpaths and trails through the woods. We bought our first chickens and there our farm lessons and "life" lessons began in earnest. The chickens were attacked by a wandering dog, three survived. Coyotes, foxes, snakes, and owls all shared the woods and our affection for the chickens. Oh, the stories we can tell and love to tell!
The long story made short is now we have around 6 miles of trails, 2 retired horses that we call ‘pasture ornaments’, a dozen or so Nubian goats, chickens, guinea fowl, 4 Great Pyrenese, 3 Australian Shepherds, 2 cats, bees and the occasional pigs.
We continue to learn and seem to be collecting stories- from the ridiculous to the sublime. Amy has begun to offer classes and host talks and events in order to build a community around the farm and in order to share in the learning. So the adventure and education continue. We invite you to join in and see for yourself what it means to be on "Laurel Hill Time".
Growing a large garden full of vegetables and cut flowers began as a little twinkle of hope in my heart for the future. The whimsical details of my future garden are the stuff I would journal about when asked what I envision in my future. Fast forward a few years, maybe 10, to the current place where my husband and I live with our three dogs. In 2017, we were invited to come live at Laurel Hill Farm and Preserve in exchange for helping out around the farm. I was super excited about all there was to learn about farm life and livestock animal care among other things, and also eager to freshen up my gardening skills! There was one particular day in late summer of 2017 when I was clipping some gorgeous blooms from the limelight hydrangeas near the cottage where we live. I was cutting enough to fill a bucket to give Amy when I noticed how grateful I was and how peaceful I felt in that moment. Shortly after this moment of joy, Amy happened to drive by on her farm golf cart and I begin to share with her how much I enjoy cutting flowers and how someday I wanted a flower garden and wanted to perhaps learn the business of flower farming, and guess what she said? She said, “well, you should try it here.”
Oh really? I asked because so far, believe it or not, this had not occurred to me. Wow!! What an opportunity I had been granted!! By that winter, plans were in place to section off a small part of the goat pasture. By early spring 2018, we had loads of garden soil shipped in and off we went building 12, 50ft. long and 4ft wide beds. I couldn’t believe it was happening! And so it goes, I am in my second year of growing cut flowers and currently in my first year of selling them under my new business called Kindness Flowers. The older I get, the more I understand that the learning never stops, especially on a farm! The story behind the name Kindness Flowers has a bit more to it, I’ll save that for another day, but mostly now, it is due to the kindness of others that I have been able to start living a dream that was once dreamt in a journal, and I hope to pass this kindness on through the flowers.