Categories
Farm Life

I am a flower farmer.

I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I knew I wanted to be a mother and I knew I wanted to be a stay outside mom with a side hustle. At the time, I enjoyed collecting and reselling antiques, but I knew there could be something more. My husband and I decided to start our own garden. We grew green peppers, jalapenos, herbs and lots and lots of tomatoes. I just adored being outside with the kiddos, getting my hands dirty and smelling the fresh air.

I purchased some wildflower seeds to plant in the corner of our garden bed to attract pollinators. I figured while I was at it, I would spruce up our shed by planting zinnias along the side of it too. And while I was at THAT, maybe design a flower bed in the front, then repurpose a file cabinet and turn it into a flower box, and so on and so on.

Little did I know, growing flowers would become my favorite all-consuming passion.

Every room in the house had a vase with vibrant flowers in it. I knew that the more I picked them, the
more they would grow, so I had to find some alternative ways to use them. I made homemade sugar
cookies with flowers decorating the tops. I pressed flowers to preserve them for artwork. I dried
flowers and made wreaths out of them. I also learned about flower pounding, hammering flowers into
fabric. Working with nature brought me joy, and apparently clarity too.

My face lit up when the realization slapped me in the face. I immediately told my husband what I wanted to be…

“I want to be a flower farmer”.

Jamie was more than supportive of the idea. “I will grow the veggies!” he said.

I started following every farming account on Instagram that I could find. The Instagram algorithm got to
know me well because that’s when it gave me Hannah’s account. I watched her farming content for
months, learning about where I want my food to come from. One day she posted that she wanted
someone to introduce her to some local thrifting spots. “Well, that’s right up my alley” I thought, sending her a quick message. “I love thrifting, I am also pregnant, and I live in Rock Hill too!” I said.

We went thrift shopping that same week. Our friendship grew to taking turns hosting dinners and playing a few good rounds of Rummikub. Hannah learned about my love for flowers and was kind enough to take a chance on me.

So now, here I am! I feel incredibly grateful to be able to share our flowers with the community and the
lovely events to come. I spent the winter prepping my growing space and planning out several rounds of cut flowers, and I can’t wait to finally start planting next week!

I am a flower farmer.

-Abbie

Categories
Farm Life

An outlet for community

Starting a farm has been one of the best things I’ve ever done…

but not for the reasons you would expect.

When I started the farm, I THOUGHT it would give me an outlet to:

  • Work outside in the fresh air, ditching the 9 to 5
  • Protect the environment, stewarding my little farm ecosystem the way God intended
  • Take control of my food supply, relying less and less on the grocery store
  • Benefit my physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing
  • Have daily interactions with animals of all kinds, both farm animals and wildlife alike
  • Grow pretty food and flowers, getting to enjoy the visual fruits of my labor
  • Never be bored due to the endless projects and activities that can come with farm life
  • Be a lifelong learner, learning something new every day
  • Connect to where my food comes from

While yes, farming has given me an outlet for most of these things at some point, the one thing that’s been increasingly and unwaveringly true, regardless of the seasons or circumstances, has been this:

Through farming at Kingdom Gardens, God has given me an outlet to connect with my community.

From relationships with other farmers to deep friendships with farm customers, I didn’t expect farming to make me feel so at home in my city.

When we moved here, the first thing I did was start the farm. Although we had followed family here, we didn’t have a history in Rock Hill and knew very few people. We hadn’t found a church home yet; we didn’t have friends.

Nearly three years later, I’m still learning my way around town. But what’s so cool is that when we visit new places, I feel like I belong. I run into people I care about, feed, and talk to every Saturday at the market.

I spent my whole childhood moving from place to place, becoming all too familiar with the pains of starting over. The Lord used the farm to ease that transition for me, and for that I’m grateful.

Categories
Farm Life

A dog lives with our pigs

There’s a full grown dog who lives with our pigs…

Long story short, we used to have sheep.

We were still so new to farming. We had no idea what we were doing and messed up step number one

With livestock guardian dogs, you’re supposed to raise them with the animals you intend to have them protect… preferably vulnerable livestock like chickens or sheep.

Although Maverick’s first 10 weeks were spent with a beautiful flock of sheep, the moment he stepped onto our farm, we made the mistake of introducing him to pigs.

Naively, I thought it was important for Maverick to be familiar with all of our animals so he wouldn’t associate them with being predators.

Maybe it was the similarity in size… maybe it was the puppy-like playfulness piglets have to offer… or maybe our wild-looking coarse hair sheep were just too different than the cute fluffy ones he grew up with… but he fell in love with pigs.

From his first day at Kingdom Gardens, there was a constant struggle to keep Maverick away from the pigs. Even when we forced him to live on pasture with the sheep, far out of eyesight and earshot from the rest of the farm, he’d regularly figure out ways to escape and find his way back to the pigs.

The struggle finally became unbearable

…not because we weren’t willing to chase him down or continue fighting with him, but because we knew his natural Great Pyrenees instincts had already been programmed to protect the pigs, not our sheep. He was happier living with pigs and made his preferences blatantly clear.

n tropical storms, snow, hot summer heat, strong winds… there’s nothing you can do to keep Maverick from protecting his pigs.

And although many of them have weighed up to 4x his weight and could surely hold their own against any predators, he still takes his guardian dog job very seriously!

I think the Lord knew we wouldn’t last long with sheep and allowed all of this to happen so that we’d get to keep our sweet pup on the farm for a lifetime of wallowing in the mud.

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