Last Sunday, my friend Donna and I took a road trip to Adamstown, Maryland, in Frederick County. I have always heard about Thanksgiving Farms, an independent garden center but never had the opportunity to go there.
Carol Allen (the orchid lady) had mentioned going there in the past, and last week I read an article by Susan Harris when she went there for a talk from fellow Garden Rant writer Marianne Willburn. It was past time for me to go exploring.
First Impressions ~ Color Everywhere!
As we were driving along Buckeystown Pike, the first thing I saw on the left (coming from Frederick) was the beautiful turquoise and purple trim on buildings. The colors made me smile as we parked the car and started walking toward the plants. I knew that Carol must love their color scheme of turquoise and purple, and I could not help but think of Alfred Millard, Behnke’s former president, and how he always insisted on using bright colors! Of course, he was right, and they do put you in the mood for shopping.
There were plenty of wagons and carts, and the second thing that caught my eye was how neat everything was. I didn’t see any weeds and believe me, I looked! Many garden centers started running out of plants at the end of May, but Thanksgiving Farms was well stocked with hanging baskets, annuals, and perennials! Even better, they had signage on all the tables telling you about the plants and the price.
And They Grow All Their Own
I could see off in the back many hoop greenhouses, and the front sign said it all. We Grow Our Own. Donna and I wandered around for a while and slowly made our way inside, where they had an attached greenhouse filled with houseplants! I even found some African Violets! (I heard later that they like to keep an inventory of about 100 violets in stock, but the grower’s supply has been low) As we kept going, we ended up in their produce section.
So Much To See
Thanksgiving Farms started as a produce market in 1980 and evolved into the garden center it is today. There was a large selection of fresh fruits and vegetables along with fresh-baked loaves of bread. The building keeps going with lots of this and that must-have gift item along with pots and even a section of fairy garden items. I saw that they sell ESPOMA products and then I saw the gazing balls! Have I ever mentioned how much I love gazing at balls? Maybe not, but my grandparents Albert and Rose Behnke always had them throughout their private gardens, and we always sold them at Behnke’s.
A Beer Garden! Mad Science Brewing
Finally, we were getting closer to the end of the building, and there was a Beer Garden! How cool is that? Right outside was plenty of seating with tables to relax and enjoy your surroundings. From what I understand, they have a schedule of bands, food trucks, and of course, serving their handcrafted beer from Mad Science Brewing on the weekends. Check out Thanksgiving Farms weekend schedule on their Facebook Page, along with information about the garden center.
Family Own and Operated
I ended up talking to the daughter of the owner, Louisa, and as she spoke of the garden center, I could see this was indeed a family garden center. Her children work for them, and her son was right there with her helping restock the tables with their perennials. Louisa told me her sister Darby runs the inside doing checkout and does all the buying things inside. Louisa does the growing, and her husband, Brian, owns the Mad Science Brewing. Just listening to her talk took me back to my days of being a grower and having some retail outlets. It is a lot of hard work but rewarding as customers come to shop.
Thanksgiving Farms story is a wonderful one which you can read about in this article the Frederick News-Post did on them in 2018. This family-run farm has over 40 greenhouses, and they specialize in the unusual CSA, produce, brewery, and orchid. I loved reading about how the owner Timothea Zimmermann came up with the name, Thanksgiving Farms and I think you will too.
I hope that you take time and drive out to this garden center. I think you will enjoy it as much as I did ~ Stephanie
Thanksgiving Farms is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday, and the brewery is open Saturdays and Sundays during the summer months. Located at 1619 Buckeystown Pike, Adamstown, MD