The Flower Farm
The Story of the Farm
My dad bought this farm when he was in his 20’s, which was in the early 1960’s. My grandfather and dad needed more land for more cows to produce more milk because their dairy business was growing steadily every year. It was mostly forest when it was purchased so he had to clear it to create grazing pastures.
I grew up across the street from the original dairy but did spend summer out on this farm for seeding and baling hay. My fondest memory of being on this farm was getting to drive the truck at the age of 8. I was instructed to press on the brake to stop and release it to creep forward. All the pickup trucks were equipped with an 8-track tape player that played country music like Patsy Cline, Glen Campbell and Boots Randolph and an up-and-coming star Elvis Prestley.
We sold dairy equipment and cows in the late 60’s and leased out this farm for almost 30 years. I never gave this farm another thought.
After graduating from the University of Arkansas, I moved to New York City and worked on Madison Avenue in Advertising as a Copywriter and Account Executive and then moved into the publishing industry as a Creative Supervisor and Promotion Manager for 12 national magazines. After a decade of the Big Apple, I grew restless. Secretly dreaming of writing scripts for television and movies, I resigned and moved to Texas to attend the Dallas Art Institute. The goal was to learn to write and produce videos. The internet was in its infancy and smartphones were a dream still brewing in Steve Jobs’s head.
I have always heard “that God laughs when you make plans”. And that has been my experience. Although my plans were to move to California, I continued to get temp jobs in florists and nurseries. In fact, the last two years I was living there I designed and styled gardening projects for the House and Garden section of the Dallas Morning News. NEVER dreaming, my life was about to head back to the farm where I learned to drive a truck as a youngster. But out of the blue, I received a commission to create 7 copper fountains for the Arkansas Flower Show. With no studio to create such large pieces, I packed my bags and moved back to Hot Springs and worked in my parents’ 3 car garage to make those fountains and a copper trellis for the McMath Library in Little Rock. That was 17 years ago.
In 2009 I built a small dog trot house made of corrugated metal on this farm in the rural community of Bismarck (30 minutes south of Hot Springs) where I run a 2-acre flower farm and raise a herd of Nigerian dwarf goats that produce the high butter fat milk to make chevre and feta cheese that I sell.
Life’s Lessons: Glenda the good witch of the North from the Wizard of Oz simply instructed Dorothy to close her eyes, click her heels and repeat “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home” and she woke up surrounded by her family. We both had to leave home to appreciate the home we were born into. I am so grateful my dad didn’t sell the land but instead chose to lease it. The neighbors I have met over the years had attempted to buy this farm from him and he always said “No, maybe one of my daughters may want to live on this place” Even though I was the least likely of his daughters to move to the country, he was exactly right.