AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) – Business is booming and blooming at family-operated Harmony Harvest Farm in Augusta County. The farm is now open for the first time for the public to explore.
In the early 2010s, Jessica Hall and Chris Auville purchased the 20-acre farm in Weyers Cave, later hiring a flower consultant to figure out the best way to turn their passion into a business.
“I said, ‘Jess, where do florists get flowers?’ and she said ‘I can do that.’ I said, ‘You can do what?’ She said, ‘I can grow flowers’ and I said, ‘Can you sell them?’” Chris Auville said.
From there, the flower vision began for the trifecta, mother Chris Auville, and sisters Jessica Hall and Stephanie Duncan.
“We started doing weddings and events for our local community and to our local florists,” Auville said. “We were doing some bouquets for Whole Foods.”
Harmony Harvest Farm later turned to ship flowers right from their fields to consumers.
“We were shipping them to floral designers across the country that were doing weddings and events, we were doing mixed bouquets to Whole Foods up and down the East Coast. Things were going well and then as we all know, COVID hits.”
Events came to a halt, and business switched gears to use flowers to connect people at home. Harmony Harvest Farm began making “Happy Boxes,” which included flowers and coloring sheets for people to do at home.
With such a great response from the community about the “Happy Boxes,” Auville said they knew the next thing to do was to open the farm and the Farm Shop up to the Shenandoah Valley community, which officially opened in mid-July.
“Our property is beautiful and we wanted a space where people could come and, yes, of course, shop flowers, but just experience this life that we were building,” Stephanie Duncan said.
Inside the Farm Shop, you will find fresh flowers, items from local artisans, and flower frogs.
“Yes, everybody always asks what a flower frog is and I have no problem spending the rest of my life telling people what they are,” Duncan said. “Flower frogs, in short, are a sustainable alternative to floral foam, which puts microplastics in the water, has carcinogens, and is not biodegradable.”
Floral Genuis, the trifecta’s other business, makes the flower frogs right on the farm. They say they are the only US manufacturer making metal flower frogs, so they ship around the country and to 30 countries around the world.
While the farm is now open for the public to explore, it is not done growing just yet.
“We are working on being on Virginia’s Love Trail with our interactive design where we host workshops and the community can come out and flower this [Love sign] together and learn how to make beautiful, creative art,” Jessica Hall said.
It will also be adding a pick-your-own “Victory Garden” later this summer, which is an interactive discovery garden.
“You can walk through history from a specific point in time and learn how we are trying to make positive change in our community in the future through flowers,” Hall said.
At its Flower Fair last week, Harmony Harvest Farm welcomed hundreds of people to the grand opening of the Farm Shop, and also got the chance to teach the community in flower workshops.
“We host many workshops in our old bank barn, which next year will be open as a local heritage museum focusing on the importance of women in agriculture, something that’s very dear to me being that my mom, my sister, and I that grew this beautiful vision ourselves,” Hall said.
The female-run business will continue to host events and workshops, including harvest tours, wedding bouquet workshops, and a mum festival in the fall.
The Farm Shop is now open Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
For more information on Harmony Harvest Farm, click here for its website, or here for its Facebook page.
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