It’s not everyday you hear, “Our 40 acre farm is part of a land grant our ancestors obtained from the Queen of England in the early 1700s.” But WilMor Farms has those bragging rights. Rita & Mike Wiliams are the 9th generation to live on the land, they moved to the farm in 2004 in an effort to raise kids who understand hard work. After having 4 children in 6 years, plans to work the farm were put a hold while they raised their young family. Once the kids were a little older they started researching organic produce farms and visited 3 Porch flower farm. With Mike’s degree from UGA in horticulture, they decided a flower farm was perfect for them.
Running a flower farm seems so dreamy and Rita agrees but says the beauty at times is overwhelming. “I love to see the different colors of the seasons,” says Rita adding “it can also be working – especially at the end of summer when the heat beats you down and the bugs take you off!” But flower farming makes her happy & fulfilled, she says, “I am so thankful that the Lord has loved me this second season of my life and given me this passion!”
Only about an acre of the farm is devoted to flower farming, it is very different from conventional farming. You don’t need much land, it’s a cycle of planting, harvesting and replanting throughout the season. And at WilMor Farms it’s a family affair…the kids work in every aspect of the farming process but it’s not free labor, they have time cards and get paid weekly!
WilMor Farms had a big realization this year, something they started simply to teach their kids to work could actually earn a living and be passed on to their children. They were accepted into Whole Foods last fall and have plans to expand into more retail markets. They would also like to mass produce dahlias in South Georgia eventually. Currently they grow a huge assortments of flowers, from well known sunflowers, snapdragons and marigolds, to lesser known gomphrena, statice and ammi mist.
When I asked Rita what she is most proud of, “My children…they work so hard and have learned so much. Watching them find satisfaction in a job well done and seeing their reaction when people love the flowers. They have learned to work and also the value of working.”
You can find WilMor Farms flowers at Forsyth Market on Saturdays, Statesboro Farmer’s Market 2 Go . They also deliver to Whole Foods on Tuesdays and are in several local stores outside of Savannah.
Learn about other local farmers & where your food comes from at ScoutSavannah.com.