Once upon a time, in a not so very faraway place, there lived a young girl who loved this land very much. After years of questioning and struggling with conventional ways of living, she decided to forego all she knew and forge her way into a world once remembered. A world where simple living gave her the freedom to appreciate all that nature has to offer. A world where she could show her children that all of the creatures of the earth are bound in a delicate balance that must be upheld. A world where living naturally and close with the soil, the bees, the butterflies, and all things that take root and grow, she could finally breathe deeply the clean air, eat simply the pure foods, and live freely.
Breathe deeply, eat simply, live freely
How we started...
For 11 years, I co-owned and operated Harding's Gardens, a full service, all-natural, landscaping company. I am a certified nursery landscape professionsl (CNLP). In 2015, I decided, after much debate and discussion, to take my life in a new direction, sell the landscaping company, and start something new.
I have three young boys to whom I am trying to teach "the ways of the world". I want them to learn and understand where our food comes from, how the products that we use on a daily basis are made, and how our daily actions effect the environment around us. Our world revolves around plants, animals, growing things, breeding things, and watching life emerge in so many different forms. So our gardens are a profusion of colors and textures, our farm is teaming with new life and old friends, and our country store brings it all together as a gathering place where we can teach and show others all of these beautiful things! This is a wonderful place for my boys to grow, learn, and live.
We raise both laying hens and broiler chickens. For layers, we have quite a variety of hardy chickens, Buff Orpingtons, Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red, Americana, and Columbian Rocks. For broilers, we raise Red Rangers and Freedom Rangers. These are very sturdy and hardy broiler chickens, much better for our family farm to raise than the more standard Cornish Rocks.
We have pigs as well, who my boys adore. The boys can often-times be found playing pig pen tag in the barn. I think the pigs like the company!
Here at our farm store, we sell both pork and chicken, as well as eggs.
We always have a ready supply of rabbits. They are great pets for the kids, easy to care for, and the breeds we raise are always very friendly. The rabbits provide a starting point for my boys to learn how to handle and care for animals. My middle son, Will, began his own bunny business, called "The Bunny Guy." He breeds Angora rabbits and sells both the fiber and the bunnies.
We raise Finn sheep, and right here on the farm, we wash, card, and dye the wool by hand. We then use the wool in our very popular wool scrubbies and felted wool critters. Want to learn how to needlefelt? Take a class with us!
Soapmaking is a wonderful art for me. This is a way to express my artistic side, my crafting side, and my love of plants. Each soap I make is made from the best natural ingredients that I can find. I infuse my soaps with many of my own hand-picked and dried herbs. The soaps are colored with plant-based materials, and scented only with pure essential oils. I also make lotion bars, lip balms, lotions, sunscreens, salves, and deodorants. The beeswax and honey in my recipes comes mainly from my own hives (if I can keep the bears out!).
As a landscape designer, my first thought has always been for the plants. What is the soil like, will the plants do well in this site, is this plant native to the area, will it benefit the wildlife, etc. My gardens are a reflection of my ideals. We have multitudes of plant varieties to benefit the butterflies, the bees, and the birds. My boys have grown up raising Monarch butterfly caterpillas, and watching them hatch from the chrysalis and pump their wings, getting ready for the first flight. We have an entire zinnia garden dedicated to the Monarchs. In recent years we've seen the Monarch population plummet, and we haven't found eggs to raise up in several years. We keep hoping and helping, and the zinnia garden awaits.
Feel free to come tour our gardens during the spring, summer, and fall. There is a full color spectrum year-round of bright blooms, foliage contrasts, bark texture, and bright birdsong!
Area garden clubs are welcome to come out and hold a meeting here, tour the gardens, tour the farm, and check out our country store!