Our Story

Our Story

Mission Statement
Life the way it used to be….. Preserving history and honoring tradition by working a sustainable farm, producing handmade products, and educating the public on the value of self-sufficiency, craftsmanship, and a strong sense of community.

 

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, a pot-bellied pig, mini pigs, and Great Pyrenees guardian dogs. In an adjacent field, over 5,000 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. Children’s birthday parties, 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 is also home to a series of classes including: raised bed gardening, food preservation, seed starting, raising backyard chickens, knitting, 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 our 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 our original small batch recipes to make the simple and effective bath and body favorites you have come to expect from 1818 Farms.

As we grow, we continue to reinforce the education component of our mission. In 2017, we began our “Seed to Vase” initiative with the goal of educating others 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.

In addition to sharing our experience with growing flowers from season to season on 1818 Farms, we wanted to deepen our knowledge and thoroughly develop our Seed to Vase initiative. This began with a study with Erin Benzakein of Floret Flower. Floret Flower has trained thousands of aspiring and established flower farmers and floral designers on small-scale flower farming and natural floral design techniques. This training has been invaluable to our farm flower staff. We are now combining what we have learned from Floret training with our experience of growing specifically in our region and plant hardiness zone. We use heirloom and saved flower seeds whenever possible and have found many varieties that do quite well in our area. This information is included in what we discuss in our flower classes and events. We also love to share this knowledge and experience with others when we are out and about with the 1818 Farms Flower Truck. Our Flower Truck is a way to bring information, as well as beautiful flowers, to those who visit. To learn more about the 1818 Farms Flower Truck and its tour schedule, please click here

 

To learn more about our story, here is a StyleBlueprint article: 
1818 Farms: From a Flock of Sheep to a Booming Bath & Beauty Biz.

Here is an al.com article that tells our story as well:
A Visit to the Little Alabama Farm that Could

 


Also, here is a segment from a recent Simply Southern TV episode featuring 1818 Farms:

Here is a video from a recent visit to the farm by WAAY 31 TV.

 

 

1818 Farms About Us - Family Picture

Natasha McCrary explains how 1818 Farms came about:

“The idea for this family project originated with my middle child, Gamble, 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.”

Once I committed to raising sheep and chickens, I had to research and plan carefully to ensure a successful farm project. Many thanks to the people who helped me complete the following tasks in December 2011 through March 2012 before we could welcome our animals:

 

      • Find a good match with reputable and experienced Babydoll sheep breeders. We bought two lambs from Flying Newf Farms in Braden, TN, and two from Bluegrass Babydolls near Lexington, KY after they were weaned.

     

      • Search for a guardian animal. The choices were a donkey, a llama, or a Great Pyrenees dog. I found a trained dog in California through workingLGDs Yahoo Group.

     

     

     

     

     

      • Clear the encroaching Wildlife Refuge vegetation. Brad Newman of Newman Backhoe in Hillsboro, AL.

     

      • Build cross fencing for grazing rotation – Gene Hamman of Quality Farm Fencing in Danville, AL built an excellent wire field fence, electrified and with creosote posts in concrete.

     

     

      • Repair and paint existing barn and run water for the restroom – Stuart South of The Landscape Company and his men were tirelessly involved in every aspect of this project. In addition to repairing the barn and running water to it, they remodeled the hen house, built window boxes, prepared the lavender fields, dug irrigation ditches, planted sod, built a compost bin, and built the raised garden bed. I’m sure there will be many more opportunities to make improvements. I will be eternally grateful for his time and effort and great ideas!

     

     

      • Stain and paint the barn, hen house, and garden house – Tommy Walker of Walker Painting.

     

      • Build tables out of reclaimed wood for garden house/classroom – Alyson Cartner.

     

      • Receive advice and help with animals from Pam and Marguerite at Pam’s Pet Grooming and Boarding.

     

    • And, last but not least, thanks to my supportive dad, Ralph Cunningham of Florence, AL, who knows everything and can do anything!

Natasha and Gamble