Today’s guest, Natasha McCrary, and I first met when we started following one another on social media. Naming her business 1818 Farms was a brilliant move, because it’s kind of unforgettable. And her IG feed is filled with lots of charming images of flora and fauna — by fauna, I am specifically talking about the Olde English Babydoll Southdown sheep who reside at 1818 Farms in Mooresville, Alabama.
These animals are so prominent at 1818 Farms, there’s an illustration of one on the farm’s branding and logo. Natasha will tell the story in much more detail, but here’s a bit:
Miniature Southdown sheep originated on the South Down hills of Sussex County, England in the 1700s. In 1986-91, after becoming almost extinct, 350 sheep with the original bloodlines were located and a registry was formed. The name Olde English Babydoll Southdown can only be used for sheep that have been accepted by the registry. Babydolls are outstanding pets that produce fleece that is in the class of cashmere, a hand spinner’s delight. They provide organic weeding and make excellent companion animals. Their gentle nature makes them a joy to own!
Natasha writes more about the sheep at 1818 Farms on her website:
“The idea for this family project originated with my eight year old child, who fell in love with the Babydoll Southdown Sheep that he met at a petting farm we visited in October 2011. Owning a Babydoll was all he could talk about, so, thinking this would be fun and educational for our family to do together, I began researching where to buy a few lambs to raise as a family project on our land here in Mooresville. And then, as Gamble, my 8 year-old entrepreneur, began to plan what he was going to do with his sheep: sell the wool, sell the manure to garden shops, charge for photographs, and even stage a Nativity scene at the church if he could find a baby, I began to dream my own plans for a small profitable farm where we could teach our children to appreciate the land and animals and to be good conservationists. We also wanted to teach them the importance of being self-sustaining.”
Located on three acres in the northwest corner of the historic village of Mooresville, AL (pop. 58), 1818 Farms is named for the year Mooresville was incorporated, one year before Alabama became a state. Events of all types have been hosted in the garden, under the pavilions and in the adjacent Garden House. Pre-COVID, the events included Bloom Strolls, supper and garden club gatherings, and “Farm to Table” dinners hosted by some of the area’s top chefs all take place on our farm.
The Garden House has been home to a series of classes including: raised bed gardening, food preservation, seed starting, raising backyard chickens, wreath making and flower preparation and arranging. Natasha moved some of that education to the new 1818 Farms’ You Tube channel during COVID and you’ll hear us discuss that in our conversation.
1818 Farms’ bath and beauty products have evolved as an important facet of the McCrary family’s farm-based business. that really work. The farm’s popular animals appear on the labels of products including Farrah Fawcett’s Bath Tea, Clover’s Lip Smack and Sweet Pea and her scented Shea Creme. In 2019, Natasha’s hard work was recognized with 1818 Farms winning Amazon’s United States Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year.
I know you’ll enjoy our conversation and be inspired by Natasha’s tips and suggestions, especially for adding a non-perishable product line to create a revenue stream year-round.
Find and follow 1818 Farms at these social places:
Thanks so much for joining us today for another fun conversation. Hey, time is running out to participate in the 2021 Slow Flowers Member Survey. For sharing your time complete the survey, we’d like to send you an etched Slow Flowers Society botanical bookmark – and enter your name into the drawing for one free registration to the 2021 Slow Flowers Summit, valued at $599! But you must give us your name and contact information to receive the bookmark and enter the drawing — if you choose to respond anonymously, we can’t bestow our gifts!
Registration is open for my first online course, Slow Flowers Creative Workshop: Floral Storytelling. The course begins November 1st so check out links and take advantage of the $200 introductory promo code, meaning you can enjoy this course for just $97. It includes three modules, 11 lessons, six worksheets and three writing templates. I’m excited to see you in the course! And a shout-out to our first two students who registered last weekend! I’m eager to have you join me to boost and refine your floral storytelling skills and enhance your own message with the power of words.
Fleurvana Holiday Summit: Registration Giveaway!
As I mentioned, the Fleurvana Virtual Summit for which I taught in late August, is returning with a “holiday edition.” It takes place from Sunday, October 26 to Wednesday, October 28 and my presentation is scheduled to air Monday, October 26th at 7 am Pacific/10 am Eastern.
I’ve developed an entirely new presentation called Taking Stock: Writing your 2020 Year in Review & 2021 Forecast with Creative Intention.
As with last time, you can register for a free pass to attend Fleurvana during October 26-28. But many people are purchasing a VIP Pass to access private speaker roundtables and watch the presentations at their own pace. Shawn and I will draw one free VIP Pass for one of you — just sign up to register at the link below. Everyone who registers through this link will be entered into a drawing for a VIP Pass. The deadline is Midnight Eastern Time on October 24th. We’ll draw the winner on October 25th and let you know ASAP so you can join all the private speaker roundtables (online, of course). And as I mentioned, everyone who registers will be able to watch the sessions in real time, starting next Sunday. I’ll see you there!
Thank you to our Sponsors
This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, nationwide online directory to florists, shops, and studios who design with American-grown flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms. It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.
And thank you to Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Read our stories at slowflowersjournal.com.
The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important this year than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at thegardenersworkshop.com
Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.
Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com.
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I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.
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In The Field; Mountain Sun