Well sort of anyway. All of my life I have loved growing things. My parents would give me areas of the yard to plant flowers and I always loved Gladiolas or Irises. There was an elderly lady down our street that had the most beautiful front yard. She had flowers of all kinds planted in several beds. There was no lawn, just flower beds - and a white picket fence.
I used to walk from our house to a corner package store and passed by her yard often. One day she saw me looking at her beautiful Iris plants. She came over a struck up a conversation with me. She told me she was going to have to dig up and split the iris clumps soon because they had gotten too big. If I would come back later, she would have some of the Iris clumps (which I now know are correctly called rhizomes) for me to take and plant at my house.
And, I did go back and she did give me a bunch of Iris's and Daffodils, and Gladiolas. That launched my passion and love for bulbs and any plant that would pop back up the next year, also known as perennials.
Through the years, I have lived on the East Coast, I grew up in California, and have lived in North Carolina (very briefly), San Francisco Bay area, Texas, and now I am planted in Middle Tennessee. I have never lost my love of gardening and agriculture. The climates of the different regions can be a challenge when it comes to plants. I have raised Timber, Hay, Soy Beans, Cotton, Avocados, Various fruits, but in all of my farm adventures, my passion was to have a tea farm.
Anyone familiar with growing tea in the United States knows the plants are not really acclimated to our climates. But, thanks to some very dedicated enthusiasts, plants are being grown, studied, and cultivated and even though they are all camillia sinensis, some plants thrive better in our climate than others. Plants are being propagated and cloned for tea farmers to use to plant their tea farms. I know it won't be easy and there are many trials and errors to come - I now have the place, the property, and support to begin my tea farm adventure.
Because it will take a few years to really establish the tea plants, I have decided to include perennials - namely, irises, day lilies, elephant ears, bleeding hearts and a few others that - just like the kind neighbor I grew up next to that took me under her wing - I can't wait to grow, sell, and share with other enthusiast all of these wonderful plants.
It is also in my plans to grow my own chamomile and lavender to harvest for limited addition teas I will produce to sell in the shop: 9 Lives Tea House.
Well, that's a little bit about me and how I got my start with flowers and plants. I couldn't be any more excited about the next 2 to 3 years when things really kick into high gear!
Next time - I will explain how the farm got its name!