Sunday, June 12, 2016

Visit the Farm for Native Plants

I had heard from several friends that a great small nursery could be found in Gainesville, GA. The Kinsey Family Farm on Jot-Em-Down Road seemed like an odd name for a place on an oddly named road.

In April, I finally had a chance to visit the Farm for myself and was delighted with what I found.

The Kinsey Family Farm has been around since 1981 and has been evolving ever since. Originally a Christmas tree farm, they branched out (literally) after a while to include other trees, shrubs and even perennials and a few annuals now. More than just a place to buy plants, this bucolic location hosts special family-friendly fall activities with a pumpkin patch and year-round farm animals. The Belted Galloway cows and their calves were romping around in an adjacent field the day I was there.

I asked Andy Kinsey how the nursery came to be and he told the story about how they just kept adding categories of plants to what they sell. Native plants are a part of what they sell, but it seems to be an increasing part of the mix. I well understand the challenges of providing the plants that customers want as well as identifying what they might want to buy if only they knew about it.

Trees are grown on the farm
Good signage!

The nursery is well organized for customers to stroll through rows of beautiful, healthy plants. Clear and informative signs provide information on the plants and what conditions they like. Native status is well presented. The prices are great – much cheaper than what I had seen just the day before at another nursery near me.

I was fortunate enough to be able to walk through some of the growing areas with Andy. The care behind the selections for what to grow and the enthusiasm for the success of their plants was evident. New blueberry selections were in their first pots while budding oakleaf hydrangea cultivars were well on their way to being ready for sale. 

Andy shows off a favorite
Hydrangeas growing

It was wonderful to see such passion for growing healthy plants that customers would want. As we strolled the grounds, he pointed out red buckeyes (Aesculus pavia) that came from seeds in his own yard and bur oaks (Quercus macrocarpa) with flexible branches. An avid birder, he also pointed out several birds nesting in the living plants and we were able to see their eggs.

A sparrow's nest
A robin's nest

And the plants are absolutely healthy! Well-rooted plants in full pots were the norm. Foliage was clean and the plants were well groomed for attractive shape and fullness. It’s a place where you can feel confident in what you buy. Why, I almost felt I had gone back in time … to a family farm!

So if you’re looking for some good plants, visit their website, give them a call or stop by. I think you’ll be happy with the experience all around. It’s well worth the trip.

1 comment:

  1. My favorite nursery, and each member of their family is like family to me. If you have never been, you owe it to yourself to shop there. Take the kiddos too--lots of friendly farm animals.