With Spring just over the horizon, we feel a little inclined to adorn our whole house with fresh cut flowers. Athens’ 3 Porch Farm has taken the business of fresh cut flowers (and smile making) to heart by promoting local flora and creating beautiful arrangements for events and your home. Helmed by husband-wife duo Mandy and Steve O’Shea, they started 3 Porch Farm in Madison County, GA with 9 acres of land. Originally split into food and flowers, now most of their land is dedicated to flowers for Mandy’s arrangements through MoonFlower Design Studio. The farm is the perfect little combination of their shared knowledge and passions for for organic farming.
“We wanted to do something good, something relatively noble,” says Steve. “When we got together eight years ago, this idea bubbled up to the surface right away. It took us a long time to save money and find a piece of property to dive in. We’ve been trying to put our ideals in practice and do it in a way we can enjoy our lives — be sustainable financially and organically.” And they do so beautifully, we must say. Their whole farm (except for the house) is sustainable from their solar-powered kitchen, refrigeration system and sprinklers to their three cars running on waste vegetable oil from a local restaurant. They aim to be carbon neutral – a noble thing indeed.
For their flower empire, they’ve been spreading their wings through farmer’s markets in Athens and the Freedom Farmer’s Market in Atlanta. Mandy has been working with flowers for about a decade – she knows her stuff. Through weddings and events, she’s been creating arrangements with flowers they grow right on the farm. And since the arrangements are cut fresh and grown without chemicals, they last longer (and smell amazing). “There are not enough people growing flowers in the United States, 80-85% of flowers you may buy from a florist are from Central America or Europe,” says Steve. “There’s a large group of domestic growers that are trying to take back the market and get more people aware of the importance of locally-grown flowers. If you get fresh cut flowers, you get more days out of your bouquet and have access to more variety.”
And when it’s time to put those feet up after a hard day’s work, Mandy and Steve have their pick of porches to sit on. The farm is named after its three porches. They have a special concoction they like to drink when relaxing: ½ a honeypop (one of their tasty popsicles), 1 part vodka, shaken together. Easy, refreshing – and real good for you.
Want to grab a bouquet or two? You can find Steve and Mandy at this weekend's BINGE Brunch Pop-Up at The Goatfarm as well as at the Freedom Park Farmers’ Market every Saturday. You can also visit their website for more details about the farm.
Scoutmob contributor Muriel Vega is a lifetime resident of ATL and full-time authorian legend, as well as a pie enthusiast. She has a dog that may be a meme and really loves to travel. You can read more of her work at the website that she co-edits, Common Creativ ATL.