When Jodi Briggs Gabriel from Cedar Path Farm considers what attracted her to the idea of running a farm, she picks out a quote to sum up the calling: “I wasn’t born on the farm, but I got here as soon as I could.”
Situated in Summerfield, North Carolina, Cedar Path Farm occupies three acres of land that took Gabriel and her husband a couple of years to source. “I’ve never felt so connected to my home and land as I do now,” says Gabriel. “The wind in the trees, the animal noises, the space, the feel of their feathers and fur, the look in their eyes, the smell of flowers and herbs. It is anchoring, calming and therapeutic.”
We spoke to Gabriel about experimenting with sunflowers and repurposing jars into vases. We also got the scoop on hosting vintage tea parties.
Focusing on Flowers
As Cedar Path Farm has progressed, Gabriel has increasingly focused on nurturing flowers on her land.
“Growing flowers has been extra gratifying because they automatically make people smile,” she says. “They steal you away for a few moments from your worries and heal you with their colors, scent and glow in the sunshine. Growing flowers and creating bouquets is a way for me to share that and the magic of farm life with others.”
Read more: Plant these summer flowers around your farm!
Spotlight on Dahlias, Zinnias & Sunflowers
Casting her eye over the farm, Gabriel says that dahlias and zinnias are the blooms she’s most excited about this year. “They are so happy,” she says. “The arrangement of their petals are stunning and make for lovely statement flowers in arrangements. It amazes me how tall they get!”
Gabriel adds that she’s also toying with sunflowers this year. “They are a flower that stops you in your tracks! I like that they seem to be a symbol of the country and farm life.”
The Farm’s Most Popular Flowers
Asked about the most popular flowers that Cedar Path Farm produces, Gabriel says that gladiolus and sunflowers seem to strike a chord with the public and passersby.
“I think people are drawn to them because of their size and gorgeous bright colors,” she explains. “I think that pulls them back into happy memories and brings them peace. They are also wonderful gifts, and I know people enjoy sharing that feeling with others.”
Recycling Jars Into Vases
When it comes to presenting flowers, Gabriel is a big advocate of repurposing glass jars into vases. “My family and friends enjoy saving pretty jars from meals they cook,” she says. “It’s a lot of fun to build the perfect bouquet in these jars, and it seems to turn them into little treasures.”
Host a Vintage Tea Party!
When not tending to her blooms, Gabriel enjoys taking time to host vintage tea parties for family and friends. The concept of the gatherings involves serving up “tiny cakes and sandwiches” in a bid to enjoy and appreciate “the little things” that life can offer.
“It’s relaxing to chat about the beautiful patterns on the porcelain and beautiful flowers in the centerpieces,” says Gabriel. “[Just] pausing to smell the spice of a tea or compare the flavor notes of a cookie is a simple and needed escape from busy life. I feel like the farm offers lovely scenery for such an event. It’s no wonder this tradition was passed down from so long ago!”
Building on the intimate occasions, Gabriel says she has plans to slowly expand the concept of hosting vintage tea parties to involve the wider community. “I’m hoping to offer several seating areas that can be reserved around the farm,” she says. “The tea party would include tea service, a tower of treats and a beautiful farm fresh flower bouquet to take home.”
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