Down on the Farm

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Many of the beautiful flowers you'll find at Green Cottage are locally sourced. Mary Beth Wehrung of Stars of the Meadow farm is a local Green Cottage vendor who practices organic, no-till farming methods grounded in a permaculture philosophy. “I work in collaboration with the land and the beings on it to see if its for the higher benefit of this whole place, so that I can be listening for that, and not just thinking that my ideas are the best. If there’s healing that can be part of what I’m doing with my business thats what I want to do.” Just 8 years ago Stars of the Meadow was a horse farm, rocky, depleted, and tamped down by the horse’s hooves. Now with a combination of local compost, minimal tilling, and hay to cover any open unplanted areas, she is enriching the land with slowly decomposing organic matter. The soil “Is full of life and biology and humming with activity. If I were to use modern gardening methods all of those connections that get made get cut off and the soil must attempt to reconnect everything. Every time you till you turn up seeds from below that have been just waiting for the conditions to be right for them to grow. So any amount of tilling is growing stuff, because nature wants to fill the space. But it might not be what you really want to grow.” 

    “I started very small about 5 years ago or so. I now have about a dozen clients. I used to bring Dennis stuff and he’d give me tips and tell me what he was and was not interested in buying, what he would like me to grow. He’s really supported and encouraged me along the way by continuing to get to know me, build trust, and buy from me so I could keep growing things in the ways that he knew how to or has wanted to. This last year is the first calendar year that I’ve been full-time farming. I now consider myself a real business owner.” 

   As we walk through the garden we see hibiscus amaranth, scented geraniums, grey-green Siberian kale, castor beans, Green Mist lace flower, purple and orange celosia, and other heat-loving late summer breeds. Mary Beth would like to see a resurgence of local flower growing, a business which used to thrive in this state and which represents her personal values of healthy community and deep connection with the earth. Look for Mary Beth’s beautiful flowers every week at Green Cottage!

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