Is your farm a thriving family project?
In this week’s Thriving Farmer Podcast, we are joined by Natasha McCrary, Founder of 1818 Farms, located in Mooresville, Alabama. The idea for this family project originated with Natasha’s eight-year-old child who fell in love with the Babydoll Southdown Sheep that he met at a petting farm in October 2011.
Owning a Babydoll was all he could talk about; so, thinking this would be fun and educational for her family to do together, Natasha began researching where to buy a few lambs to raise as a family project on their land in Mooresville.
Gamble, the 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.
Natasha also began to dream about her own plans for a small profitable farm where they could teach children to appreciate the land and animals and to be good conservationists. They also wanted to teach them the importance of being self-sustaining, thus 1818 Farms was born.
The happy animal residents on the farm include Babydoll Southdown sheep, a Nubian goat, cats, hens, mini pigs, and Great Pyrenees guardian dogs. In an adjacent field, over 14,000 flowers show off their best colors and blooms, having been lovingly and carefully tended to, bringing beauty today and providing seeds for future seasons.
At 1818 Farms, it’s about family, a story, and making a good first impression. Natasha McCrary says, “You don’t get many second chances in business. If this is our first impression, how are we going to make it the best it can be?”
In This Episode:
How 1818 Farms got started 2:21
Naming the farm’s products 10:28
Developing the products 14:29
1818 Farms’ on-farm events 23:00
What 1818 Farms offers in the pressed flowers categories 32:22
How Natasha built an effective team for her unique farming approach 42:54
How Natasha came up with the idea for her flower truck 47:35
Natasha’s advice for someone looking to get into value-added offerings 51:54
How Natasha focuses on building an email list 55:41
About the Guest:
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.
The happy animal residents on our little farm include Babydoll Southdown sheep, a Nubian goat, cats, hens, mini pigs, and Great Pyrenees guardian dogs. In an adjacent field, over 14,000 flowers show off their best colors and blooms, having been lovingly and carefully tended to, bringing beauty today and providing seeds for future seasons.
Events of all types are hosted in the garden, under the pavilions and in the adjacent Garden House. The Bloom Stroll and Bouquet Workshops are a beautiful way to enjoy 1818 Farms while learning more about locally grown flower varieties.
The Garden House is also home to a series of classes including seed starting, raising backyard chickens, wreath making, and flower preparation and arranging. Additionally, the landscape of our historic farm makes a beautiful backdrop for special event photo shoots.
1818 Farms’ bath and beauty products have grown from our commitment to the farm and the need for simple products that really work. Featured on the labels are some of the more popular farm animals, from Farrah Fawcett’s Bath Tea and Clover’s Lip Smack to Sweet Pea and her scented Shea Creme. These products are all handmade, hand-packaged and include therapeutic grade ingredients. You can find our products in stores throughout the United States and on our online site.
Despite our growth over the years, we continue to use original small batch recipes to make simple and effective bath and body favorites, providing the consistent quality you have come to expect from 1818 Farms.
Our Seed to Vase initiative continues to strengthen the education component of our mission as we share information on ways to identify, grow, harvest, and arrange seasonally grown flowers. Through our Seed to Vase initiative, we are sharing our gardening knowledge, as well as the beautiful flowers growing on our farm.
We use heirloom and saved flower seeds whenever possible and have found many varieties that thrive in our area. We also love to share this knowledge and experience with others when we are out and about with the 1818 Farms Flower Truck. You can learn more about our Farm, our handcrafted products, and the 1818 Farms Flower Truck at 1818farms.com.
Enjoying the podcast?
Click here for more!
And if you want to keep the conversation going, join us in our Facebook Group to connect with us and other farmers looking to grow their business!
The Thriving Farmer Podcast Team would like to thank our amazing sponsor!
Harvest Hosts provides a cost-free opportunity for small businesses and farms to increase revenue simply by inviting self-contained RV members to stay one night on their property. In return, Members patronize or donate to the business.
The program is free for farms to join and to share their offerings. There is no requirement to have hook-ups or services, just a place to park one RV.
In exchange for the overnight stay, Harvest Hosts Members are encouraged to make a purchase of at least $20 at each host location they visit.
Based on a recent survey, Harvest Hosts Members spend an average of $50 per night at each host location they visit. Well-established Hosts are reporting an average of $15,000 in additional annual revenue.
Become a Host
For more information on how you can become a Host, contact Harvest Hosts at firstname.lastname@example.org Be sure to mention the Thriving Farmer Podcast on your application!
Become a Member
If you have an RV and are interested in joining as a Member, visit HarvestHosts.com today.
We also have six free eguides to help you be more effective on your farm (Winter Growing, Pastured Poultry, Washing Shed Efficiency, Profitable Farmers Toolkit, What to Look for in a Farm Property, etc), which you can download here.